With the recent performances of songs at the iHeartRadio online fest, I'm realizing that BTS has literally performed Boy With Luv so many times since it came out last April. I don't think they've ever performed a title track as much as BWL, maybe Fire and Spring Day are up there? I mean ON got literal crumbs as far as promotions are concerned lol (the circumstances were different). BWL is literally their biggest hit in their career thus far, with the exception of Dynamite. When it first came out, I LOVED it. I was oh my my my-ing for months! But after a while, after seeing them perform it constantly, it got old. The performances just got boring to me. The only parts I would look forward to in the performances were Hopekook's part and the ending with Jungkook's adlibs (I may be biased haha). Now I still like the song, but not as much as I did when it came out. Anyways, I thought it would be fun to go back down memory and reminisce on the sheer amount of times they've performed BWL because it's kinda crazy lol.
Saturday Night Live (ICONIC. Period.)
Most if not all Korean music shows like MNet Comeback Show, Music Bank, Music Core, Inkigayo, some others probably haha
Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert (another iconic performance)
The Voice (I FORGOT ABOUT THIS ONE OMG)
Good Morning America concert series (highkey forgot about this one too 😅)
Britain's Got Talent (HOLY CRAP I FORGOT ABOUT THIS ONE TOO LOL)
The Billboard Music Awards with Halsey for the first time live (LOVED this performance, has got to be my favorite one)
Of course they performed it on every stop of the Love Yourself Speak Yourself tour which is too many stops to count lol (probably around 20?)
The 5th Muster in Busan in June and then the other 5th Muster in November in Japan
The Lotte Duty Free Family Concert
Melon Music Awards (MMA)
MNet Asian Music Awards (MAMA)
iHeartRadio Jingle Ball
the SBS and KBS end of year festivals
The New Year's Eve Rockin' Eve special in New York
The Golden Disk Awards
James Corden Online Homefest (this one annoyed the crap out of me, perfect opportunity to perform HOME or a new song from MOTS: 7 instead)
Dear Class of 2020 Ceremony (I liked this performance because I'm part of the Class of 2020 lol)
Bang Bang Con The Live (I actually liked this one because it was a great remix they did and the umbrellas were a nice touch)
The iHeartRadio online festival that just happened
Okay I think I listed all of them. I bet they're tired of performing this song lol. I'm sure we haven’t seen the last of BWL as it will probably be performed again at the Lotte Duty Free Family concert next week and the MOTS: ONE concert in October. Looks like we'll be oh my my my-ing for a while 🥴
PUT ME IN [as] COACH: the Top Coaching Candidates on the Market
Right now, there are 3 open head coaching jobs (Brooklyn, Chicago, New Orleans), and there could be more to come following the playoffs Here are my personal picks for the most qualified candidates.
Top "Re-tread" Candidates
(1) Kenny Atkinson, formerly Brooklyn Kenny Atkinson checks all the boxes of what I'd look for in a modern NBA head coach. He developed under a successful mentor (Mike Budenholzer in Milwaukee), and came to Brooklyn looking to install a "pace and space" offense. Better still, he helped develop players across the roster. He entered a nearly impossible situation with the Nets, but slowly and surely built a winning culture and helped the team overachieve expectations. Clearly, Atkinson didn't fit the vision of the new power brokers in Brooklyn -- Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving -- and got left on the side of the road as a result. Still, if KD and Kyrie end up reaching the promised land and winning a title in Brooklyn, Atkinson deserves a lot of credit for helping get that engine started in the first place. He'd be a great hire for any team looking to jumpstart their own franchise. best fit: Chicago. Atkinson would join a team with a good amount of offensive talent, but not much offensive cohesion so far. The Bulls finished 27th in offensive rating this season. (2) Ty Lue, formerly Cleveland Ty Lue tends to be a punchline among a lot of casual NBA fans who think he was nothing more than LeBron James' caddy in Cleveland. To me, that belittles his resume and shows a little bias against former players. A Doc Rivers' protege, Ty Lue was a legitimate coaching candidate before LeBron James. In fact, the Cleveland Cavaliers made him the highest paid assistant in the entire league prior to the King's return to town. Lue also did a solid job in the playoffs to help the Cavs win that title. After that? It didn't go well. The wheels fell off on defense (allegedly Lue's specialty) during James' last two seasons there, and the entire car imploded after he left. It looked like Lue may have been completely burnt out emotionally and physically. Still, since then, Lue has started to rehab his coaching reputation by returning to Doc Rivers and the Clippers, where he's helped the team go from the 21st best defense to top 5 (to be fair, some new roster additions may have helped.) best fit: Brooklyn. Lue has also been a rumored candidate in New Orleans to coach under old boss David Griffin, but he appears to be a better fit for Brooklyn's veteran roster than New Orleans'. (3) Stan Van Gundy, formerly Detroit It's not easy for older coaches to keep up with the modern NBA, both in terms of player connections and in terms of new-age offenses and analytics. Some -- like Gregg Popovich or Rick Carlisle -- manage to adapt and evolve; they age as well as Christie Brinkley. Others age like Nikki Cox. Based on his second job in Detroit, Stan Van Gundy may fit into the latter category. Still, if the Knicks are willing to give Tom Thibodeau the benefit of the doubt after he flamed out in Minnesota, can't we do the same here? SVG's teams in Detroit weren't good (44-38, 37-45, 39-43 the last three years), but they didn't have worlds of talent either. No doubt, Van Gundy is to blame for a lot of that, as his front office decisions didn't go well. However, if we relegate him to a "coaching only" role, then perhaps he'd have success again. I'd take that chance over rolling the dice on his brother Jeff (a more rumored candidate), as Jeff hasn't coached in the NBA since 2007. Based on their TV commentary, Stan is also more up to date with the current trends in the league as well. best fit: Philadelphia. If the Sixers fire Brett Brown, a veteran coach like Van Gundy isn't a bad option. In Orlando, he managed to build a team around Dwight Howard and maintain spacing. Other solid candidates: Dave Joerger (SAC), Mike Brown (GS), Jeff Hornacek (NYK) Candidates I would NOT hire: Jason Kidd (MIL), Mark Jackson (GS), David Fizdale (NYK), George Karl (SAC), Jeff Van Gundy (HOU), Derek Fisher (NYK), Drill Sergeant Jim Boylen (CHI)
Top "Rookie" Candidates
(1) Chris Finch, New Orleans assistant I'm not claiming to be a coaching guru by any means, but sometimes even amateurs like myself can see obvious great candidates under our noses. I had hyped up Nick Nurse a few years before he got the head job in Toronto, and I've been doing the same for Chris Finch over the last few years. The similarity is simple: an amazing resume and a proven history of success. Chris Finch started coaching in Great Britain, where he was quickly named their league's Coach of the Year. Later on, he migrated to Belgium, where he guided his team to the league title. He eventually came back to the U.S. and coached in the D-League for Rio Grande. Surprise surprise -- Finch's team won the title and he won Coach of the Year. Since then, Finch has been a top assistant with Houston, Denver, and now New Orleans. Throughout, he's developed a reputation for running fast-paced offenses, oftentimes facilitated through bigs like Nikola Jokic or Anthony Davis. He's exactly what the NBA is looking for, and it's a surprise that he hasn't been snagged up yet. Among all coaching candidates, he may be my top candidate overall. best fit: New Orleans. Politically, it may be a little difficult to oust a likable veteran coach and promote his assistant instead, but it worked out quite well in Toronto. The Pelicans may be smart to do the same, as Finch would be familiar with the roster and have a headstart on any revisions. (2) Ime Udoka, Philadelphia assistant Unlike Chris Finch, Ime Udoka doesn't have experience as a head coach at lower levels, so we can't point to the resume and feel confident about his chances of success in the same way. Still, as far as pure "rookie" coaches go, he has the pedigree you'd want. He's a former player who became a long-time assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio. He left this past season for Philadelphia in an attempt to spread his wings. While it didn't exactly work out as planned, you have to admire the intent and the ambition. (Aside from experience), Udoka checks all the boxes that you'd want in a head coaching candidate. He's been rumored for a lot of the open jobs already, so I imagine this will be the year that he finally lands one. best fit: Brooklyn. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (presumably) clashed with Kenny Atkinson, but they may buy in to Udoka. As mentioned, he's a former player, had experience on the respected Spurs staff, and also worked with the two of them in the Team USA circuit. GM Sean Marks also cut his teeth with the Spurs, so you imagine he'd be in lockstep with Udoka as well. (3) Wes Unseld Jr., Denver assistant Two rising assistants -- Wes Unseld Jr. and Stephen Silas (DAL) -- have very similar resumes and career paths. Both grew up as the sons of veteran NBA coaches. Both ended up going to top universities -- Johns Hopkins for Unseld Jr. and Brown University for Silas. Both found their way back to basketball, and became top assistant coaches. Both are rumored to be among the top candidates for head coaching jobs now. Based on resume, you may lean to Stephen Silas more. He's been a lead assistant for a longer period of time, and most recently helped Dallas' offense achieve historic heights. Personally, I'd lean a little more to Unseld Jr. myself. Based on media interviews, he comes across with more charisma and leadership traits. best fit: Chicago. I always thought Washington would be a karmic fit for Unseld Jr., but Chicago appears to be his best bet right now. Top exec Arturas Karnisovas came over from the Denver organization, and should be familiar with Unseld's virtues. Other solid candidates: Stephen Silas (DAL), Nate Tibbetts (POR), Nate Bjorkgren (TOR), Darvin Ham (MIL), Jay Larranaga (BOS), Chris Fleming (CHI), Alex Jensen (UTA), Melvin Hunt (ATL), Johnny Bryant (UTA). Adrian Griffin (TOR) would have been on that list, but his wife made some nasty domestic violence accusations against him on twitter; even if we presume that her goal was to lie and ruin his head coaching prospects, then mission: accomplished, because that's a situation that teams may not to dig into.
How many times in a year do you think you get race day strategy 100% correct?
I would say we never get it 100% correct. Race day strategy isn't just about picking the correct number of stops and stop laps for both cars.
Did we take every last drop of grip out of the tyres before we pitted? Did we pressure cars ahead the right amount at every point? Did we back off and protect the tyres the right amount at every point? Did we communicate to the driver exactly what we were trying to achieve and therefore get 100% out of them at every instant in the race? Was the modelling accurate and useful? etc. etc.
We will always be searching for marginal/incremental improvements in everything we do.
I’m in high school and am planning on going to school to become a mechanical engineer, so my question is this: how available are engineering jobs in F1, or just motorsport in general? Of course, being an F1 engineer would be a dream, but I have no idea how difficult it would be to actually find a job
I have to be honest and say that jobs in motorsport and especially F1 are not plentiful and that they are often oversubscribed many times over.
I would not let that put you off though, at your age you have a lot of time to pick up skills, experiences and knowledge that will help you in the endeavor of getting a job in motorsport.
I would also say that perseverance is almost an essential quality in finding a job in F1. I, and many others I know, were turned down for roles multiple times and at various points thought we would never get our dream jobs in F1.
Hey, Randy! Thanks for doing this awesome AMA. You have talked a lot about getting into F1 for a career as an Engineer. I was hoping you could shed a bit of light in what skillsets/qualifications you look for in candidates who work as the mechanics and the pitstop crew on a given race weekend. Again, Thanks for doing this. I have read through every one of your answers and they were as much fun to read as they were enlightening about the sport we love.
So this is not my area of expertise, although I do spend a lot of time working with the pitcrew - so please take this with a pinch of salt but I think below are the main things we look for:
* Some prior experience in building and servicing of race cars or bikes.
* An ability to understand and follow (often complex) procedures.
* A proactive nature (e.g. when reporting faults or build issues).
* Dealing well with a high pressure and time constrained workload and environment.
* An attention to detail and a willingness to learn.
* Ability to read and interpret technical drawings.
* Fabrication and machining skills.
Really cool to hear from you Randy. How have you and the team at McLaren been spending your time with everything that’s been going on with Covid-19? Hope we can see you go racing in Austria in July!
So F1 teams have all been subject to an extended "shutdown" meaning that most of us haven't been allowed to work on F1 projects and many of us, consequently, have not been working in recent weeks.
Personally, I've used the time to try and get fit, having averaged c. 4 hours and 15 minutes of exercise every day since April 1st (yes I do have a spreadsheet), as well as trying to learn some new skills like React.
Many of the team have used the opportunity to spend time with their loved ones, which can be difficult with hectic schedules, to improve their cooking skills (I have eaten the best pizza I've ever had during lockdown!), do gardening and so on.
Everyone seems eager to get back to it and most teams will be returning to work over the next fortnight.
Hi Randy. Thanks so much for doing this, the answers so far have been really insightful. Can I ask, as an armchair fan, what can I look for over the course of the weekend to help me predict likely strategic calls on race day?
The main 2 factors are tyre behaviour (degradation, wear life and pace difference) and pitstop loss. From here you can get a basic understanding of the strategy before competitors are thrown into the mix.
Pirelli kindly provide some of the information each weekend on tyres and you can estimate the rest from FP2 long runs towards the end of the session. Pitstop loss is also often given by some teams (maybe rounded or slightly noisified - but close enough to give you the right number of stops).
With those 2 things you can work out the baseline strategy if you were racing alone and then you want to be considering the cars that are a pitstop window ahead and behind and see whether you would stop earlier or later than the baseline based on undercutting, traffic and so on.
Thank you so much for doing this AMA! During last year's German GP, I remember that a lot of us fans were interested in contrasting approaches made by two teams as the track started to dry up. One driver saw that the track was dry enough for slicks, called it in, and got the go ahead to take the gamble; he ended up coming very close to a podium. Another driver made similar observations and appealed repeatedly to his engineer to make the switch, but was instructed to stay out for several more laps, costing him points. I understand hindsight is 20/20 here, but if you were the engineer, would you be more inclined to take the driver's word when they potentially contradict the data, or vice versa? Do you believe there's a "correct" approach in situations like these, or a personal preference? Again, thank you so much! (Typed from my “Mclaren Edition” phone...I can't wait for the season to start, and I really wish you guys the best!)
Thank you for the kind words!
I think there is a lot you don't see (not your fault) when it comes to strategic decisions, this is amplified many times over in a wet or changeable conditions race, where decisions are extremely difficult, with lots of information, of varying quality/frequency.
I think we have learnt that it depends. Sometimes, we will weight the driver's input higher than anything else, sometimes it will be the least valuable information.
Do you employ many Americans on the team, and if so what does it take? Assuming they have the technical credentials of engineering.
So we have nothing against Americans, nor people of other nationalities - having the right to work in the UK is sometimes required although we do also help with visa applications this isn't always possible for us to do.
In terms of Americans on the team, we have Zak Brown, of course and I'll be honest and say I can't think of any others at the moment, although we have had a few placement students in recent years from the United States.
There's no extra requirement for Americans, especially as we're moving to Mercedes powerunits soon, we won't have too many issues with the pronunciation of Renault anymore.
What kind of people do you have in the strategy department? Are they mostly engineers, or like mathematicians and computer scientists?
Although we are largely engineers by degree, we don't really discriminate against other backgrounds and are often quite keen to add a diversity of ideas and backgrounds into the mix - a numerate degree is going to be very helpful though.
We are 60% mechanical engineers, 1 engineemathematician hybrid and 1 physicist.
Is it unusual to go from entry-level engineer to head of strategy in 6-7 years? What do you think drove your success?
I think it actually happened even a bit quicker than that - which had never been my expectation when I started.
It's hard to say what is unusual, there are so few "race strategists" in the world, let alone in F1 that I think there's not really a "usual" and often timescales can be quite variable based on circumstance (e.g. someone leaving/changing role).
I guess the success is driven by the confidence and belief in the strategy team, of which I am just a part - so the fact that the other members of the team are so good, that management above us let us independently improve and change our processes without blame nor interference etc. is what has really driven it. Also have the much wider strategy team that includes 10s of volunteers to thank - it truly is a team effort and no single person would have the impact they do without the team around them.
Does race strategist cooperate with aerodynamics department in any way?
So, I can't go into details but yes we do. Strategy is a really cool role because we end up dealing with pretty much all other areas - as we also cover things like Competitor Intelligence and Sporting matters.
In a more typical sense, just thinking about race strategy, there are a few areas that spring to mind, aerodynamicists and other engineers will be setting things like the wing level and the trades made here can affect performance in qualifying vs. the race, something that we as strategists are well placed to comment on the value of and also for setting cooling levels, we're responsible for weather forecasting and interpretation and so will often liaise with our aerodynamics colleagues about the risks of it being hotter than certain limits.
the below is a reply to the above
Could you unpack a bit on what "competitor intelligence" does? Thanks!
"Mr Holmes, I would love to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."
I'm afraid that in this case the answer is no. All I can say is that we do some pretty neat things using the various kinds of information (audio, video, images, data, quotes, etc.) to gain intelligence on things like relative performance, other teams and so on.
What’s your proudest moment in F1 to date?
Another tough one!
What makes me proudest is the Strategy team at McLaren. The team consists of around 5 people at its core and I can honestly say that they are the most talented, motivated, most passionate and smartest collection of individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Everyone's level naturally rises when you work with people of this calibre and although the team is constantly looking for areas of improvement, challenging each other - it is also really just fun. I am very proud that I've played a part in pulling in each of my strategy teammates.
One other thing that gets close (other than Grand Prix which I'll cover in another answer) is Mission Control. McLaren were kind enough to give me the opportunity to manage the project to design a new Mission Control from scratch, build and deploy it. We were responsible for building contractors, ventilation, budget, aesthetic, even unpacking and setting up over 30 machines. The Mission Control room is an awesome facility and we built it together as a team. A lot of it is secret but here's a photo you are allowed to see:
Hello, Do you go on reddit and check this sub sometimes?
I would say more frequently than sometimes and I'm not the only one who works in F1 than does.
The content on here can be amazing at times - from some of the photos, to some of the data visualisations - and sometimes it is just fun to read comments and see how different our perspective of a race/event can be to that of fans.
You've talked about refuelling in a previous answer, and how it might affect strategies, but what is your opinion on the current tyres, and how they basically force the teams to do a two-stop strategy? Would you prefer if the tyres were manufactured in a way that makes them more durable? Thank you!
So, I would start by saying the tyres don't force teams into 2 stop strategies, however, the front-runners will have a higher propensity for 2 stops over 1 stops in the current regime, which may present a more skewed picture to fans.
I believe and I think my colleagues and competitors agree, that good racing does involve some strategic flexibility and variety and a good sweet spot is to have races that are at crossover between 2 an 3 stop strategies (crossover means the timings and track position work out such as to be roughly equal).
However, Pirelli are in an unenviable position with regards to giving us tyres that would encourage 2 or 3 stop crossover events, as the drivers also need to be able to push the tyres lap after lap to get good racing.
So you can see that Pirelli have to try and balance both concerns and I think with that in mind they are doing a good job of finding a balance.
The strategy with sainz in Brazil was amazing man
Thanks for the kind words but the strategy in Brazil (I hope) was as good as in Austria, or Hungary, etc. We didn't do anything particularly special but in this case the outcome was particularly good - we try and judge ourselves on our decisions/processes/analysis rather than the outcome as the outcome/result can be dependent on chance which is outside our control.
Have you found any books in particular helpful when it comes to the soft skills required working in a multi-department environment, also when it comes to the overarching strategic principles. Building on that, how often do you find yourself acting against the data/conclusions presented to you in favour of your own observations or “common sense”
I think the most useful book has been Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as it really demonstrates the importance of teamwork. Mark Corrigan's seminal "Business Secrets of the Pharaohs" and Michael Scott's "Somehow I Manage" are also essential reading.
Seriously though, a difficult one, I think a lot of skills are picked up outside of books, things like logical problem-solving, being extremely pro-active, etc. however, some books that I find have been useful are:
* Thinking Fast and Slow (almost essential reading, Thinking in Bets is also good)
* The Intelligent Entrepreneur (very inspiring)
* Outliers (to try and replicate some of the factors)
* Legacy (a great book about teamwork and management)
* Resonant Leadership (given to me by manager and a great read)
Speaking from a career standpoint, does having a background in something like biology factor into a possible role at all? Something of a mix of Biology and Engineering (Biomed, Bioengineering etc)? Thanks!
It can do - I specialised in Biomedical Engineering as one of my electives in my final year at university, by the way.
Especially in strategy, different viewpoints/experiences/backgrounds can be very useful.
So we're hearing that Austria and maybe Britain is going ahead, is McLaren prepping for this or are they waiting for official word from Formula 1
I can't comment on the calendar as it stands as that would be breaking confidentiality. However, I can say that Liberty and the FIA are working tirelessly to bring a calendar together and it was something that we all discussed yesterday in the Sporting Working Group and is no doubt being discussed on a daily basis in other forums also.
The teams, including McLaren, are trying as well to prepare for the season starting soon whilst remaining flexible such that if there are changes we can adapt to them quickly and well.
How do you judge a mandatory 2 pit stops instead of only one? Can this make the races more enjoyable in your opinion? Thanks
I don't think mandatory 2 stop strategies are a good idea. I can talk about this openly as its something we have debated with other teams, the FIA and Liberty as well and as a group we decided against it.
The reason I don't like mandatory 2 stop strategies is that it is artificial and artificial constraints (I believe) will lead to more strange/bad occurrences than good ones.
The benefit of mandatory 2 stop strategies is that everyone will make 2 stops which on average is more stops than we currently do and we believe that more stops (to a limit) typically lead to more exciting races.
However, the downside is that this is purely artificial. If the race is a clear 1 stop and we add a second stop artificially then it's more likely that that stop could be placed in a strange spot, because the sensitivity to its timing could be low - you may see cars pitting very early or late into the race and therefore the race is still like a 1 stop (you don't get the full benefit on racing of the second stop) - especially with a point for fastest lap.
You may then argue that we could force the second stop into a particular window, or set a limit on stint lengths. This also has issues, with cars likely to be concentrated on one side of the window and then there may need to be more artificial constraints.
I very firmly believe that the best way to encourage more stops is to keep constraints on strategists light and influence the primary factors that determine how many stops there are, that is:
* Pitloss (decrease = positive pressure on number of stops).
* Tyre behaviour (worse behaviour = positive pressure on number of stops).
What's it like working for the most positive and happiest team?
Let me ask some of my friends at other teams and I'll get back to you soon.
Only kidding 😁 ! I can't say if McLaren is the most positive/happiest team as I've not been everywhere, but its certainly the most fun, positive, happy, smart, etc. etc. team I've ever worked at.
I love it. It's the people that make McLaren (and I know that's a cliche) special and I enjoy working in such a tight-knit, funny, motivated team.
What was the most difficult race strategy wise in your F1 career?
My first race, I think stands outs - the 2013 Australian Grand Prix. I started work on January 2nd that year (my first real job in F1), had no strategy experience, had to do lots of winter reporting and had no strategy mentor (as the previous strategist had left already). I'm not sure "baptism of fire" and "thrown into the deep-end" are mixable metaphors but that's what it felt like.
To make matters more "interesting", the data showed and I was convinced that it would be a multiple stop (probably 3 stop) grand prix, based on what we had observed in Winter Testing and during Friday and Saturday running. This was in sharp contradiction to recent history at the Australian Grand Prix - so there were many heated discussions over this (with the majority of the team heavily disagreeing with it being more than a 1 stop race and every member having much more experience than I).
Turns out lack of experience can be an advantage sometimes. Teams tended to do a 2 or 3 stop race, but the latter was much better. Teams were reluctant to add stops given experience and recent history of the Australian Grand Prix and this pushed many into poor strategies, rather than adapting to the tyre behaviour we were observing.
2013 was an interesting year for strategy, with empirical data and lack of bias being really important to getting the strategies right. If you were to look through those races there are certain teams that flip-flopped a lot and others that quickly adapted to the new 'normal'.
Hi Randy, I don't know if this is already over but I'll try anyway. It's no surprise that working in F1 in any capacity must be extremely competitive. Is there any chance for someone considering a career change to be able to get a foot in the door? I work in investment management and realise that I want to be as close to my passion as possible. I'm open to pretty much any job just to get in. Naturally Id hope to have some transferable skills but i would focus on the chance to build skills and potentially go from there. Any advice? Thanks!
I think perseverance and desire are key and yes it is possible. Coincidentally, I was working in the investment industry when I was offered the chance to take a full time role in strategy for the 2013 season.
I had worked at Williams for my final year project at university, but had been "out of the game" for a couple years when I got the offer to return.
Hello Randy, I am sorry if this has already been asked. But I would like to know your thoughts on: The new strategy involved on the new regulations/ground affect designs on the new Formula 1 vehicles? Is this a step in the right direction? Love to hear an professional / insider view on these new changes to the sport as the team Engineers do not seem to have a big say in the acceptace of the design limitations from FIA.
I personally think the new regulations (Sporting, Technical and Financial) are moving the sport in the right direction and so am looking forwards to them being introduced over the coming years.
I would also say, as it may not be obvious to fans, that teams and engineers are heavily involved in these regulations. Whether that is us helping to draft parts of them, sense check them, vote on them, etc. it is a very open, constructive forum between the teams, the FIA and FOM (and other external experts as required).
Day 5: Mr. Singh is still answering questions. He's now one of us. LEGEND, and thanks to McLaren for allowing this. -Best AMA yet? DCanswered4questions.
Haha thank you!
I will probably have to stop soon - but have a few more answers coming on a few families of question I haven’t yet answered. 🙂
Hi, Randy, Your answers are great, thank you! One of my most favorite McLaren performances of recent years was Fernando's insane race in Azerbaijan in 2018, when he had a double tyre puncture but still managed to finish 7th. Were you still his personal strategist back then? What was your role in his success? What were you thoughts when you saw him limping to the pits on two wheels? What did you do after that?
What a race, eh? "Personal" strategist, you make us sound like mathematical butlers... 😁.
I wasn't Fernando's strategist at that time, Chris (one of our team) had already taken over by then and I was leading the team. It was not an easy race, although it may look like we sat back and watched, there's a lot of decisions made that you don't see and a lot of decisions made not to do stuff.
It was a good team effort from everyone to stay calm and try and pick up the pieces after the incident on the first lap, when the car rolled into the pits we did consider retiring it - but as a famous paper salesman once said "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take". What outsiders (who get special access) often notice is that the team stays calm, you can't get wobbly or excited over the incident/accident, you need to be calm, methodical and logical.
I think this is my favourite question so far. 😀
To be honest, the questions are very interesting and I have had so many people answer questions for me when I was in the position of being a fan/student and that changed my life by helping me get my dream job. If I can give back a fraction of the help/information I've received then I'll feel very happy!
How contagious is Landos laugh?
I don't know about you but I find it quite grating. Do you know the feeling you get when you hear someone scratch their nails across a blackboard, or when your alarm goes off and you're still tired?
In all seriousness though, Lando is a funny guy and does always keep the mood nice and light.
Hi Randy. Who is your favourite member of the IT team? Sincerely, Definitely not a member of the IT team.
Trick question! I don't have a favourite member of the IT team. 😁
Is there any role for physicians/doctors on race teams?
As doctors, I would probably say no. Most teams won't employ their own doctors anymore or will do so in a very limited capacity.
However, that doesn't mean we don't have medical support, it tends to come through external organisations that support F1, such as Formula Medicine, for example, or the FIA's Medical Programme.
We also occasionally get applications for strategists who have a medical background - and that isn't something we look down upon, if anything it may provide a skillset/experiences that would be complementary to those of 'mostly engineers'.
I understand you may not answer because this may be sensitive, but Which method of steering the ship do you think is more effective ? The steely dictatorial grip of Ron Dennis or the More lenient managerial approach of Zak brown ? From a fan perspective, I love that mclaren drivers aren’t on such a tight leash.
I never really worked under Ron as I joined in mid-2015. I have to say that the management style I’ve experienced throughout has been great - no blame culture, very open and understanding, letting the experts make decisions, etc.
Have you ever sat on the pitwall at the start and said (even to yourself) "And it's lights out and away we go."?
I haven’t! I imagine I now will at whichever Grand Prix we get the pleasure of starting first this year.
Is Ferrari’s strategy as much of a running joke in the paddock as it is by the fans and here on reddit? Maybe you can’t really answer that truthfully but I’ve always been curious. It’s obviously a difficult job but I do wonder if they shoot themselves in the foot as often as it seems from the fans perspective.
Answered elsewhere in the thread.
It's a difficult, stressful job, so you always have respect for your competitors.
In your experience, would adding flame decals to my truck make it go faster?
Where are you going to place them? What colour are the flames?
Hey randy, i am a 15 year old girl who lives in india and my dream is to become a formula one engineer or work in f1 in anyway. What do u think are the educational qualifications needed to become a formula 1 engineer and what exposure do u think i need to even be close to full filling my dream. I have been following mclaren f1 team for quite some while now and love the friendly environment inside the team.
As PapaKeth says, hopefully there are some answers to your question about what qualifications are required in my other comments.
Can I say though, don't let being 15, female, or living in India deter you - none of those things are a blocker to getting a job in F1 in the future.
Hi ! Thank you for answering some of our questions ! I've been wanting to ask, in the event of a car failure ( engine failure, hydraulics failure, etc) how do you become aware of it ? Do you have a real time data link to the car as an engineer ? Or is it something you see on a TV ?
So we get data from the cars "live", there are hundreds of sensors on each car and this data is transmitted to us at the track and we also transmit it back to HQ in Woking. There are tens of people looking at the data and typically we will spot problems in the data, or based on feedback from the drivers, before we see them on TV.
That doesn't mean that we never spot stuff on TV first - sometimes you don't have instrumentation for certain things and so you may spot it visually first and the TV feed is a good way of sense-checking in some cases as well.
Do you think Stoffel deserved to still be in F1? (Not necessarily with McLaren)
100% - he is a great talent and I'm very glad that he is doing so well in Formula E.
Hi, thanks for doing this Q&A. Working for an F1 team is the dream, though I understand it's very difficult to get in. I'm disabled, would this matter to an employer? Do you have any advice on how I could approach this to someone as I'm just finishing my first year at University and hoping to apply for internships. Also, (sorry if you've answered this question already) I am studying Mathematics probably going to move into Mathematics and Statistics. Would it be possible to apply for a strategist position with a Mathematics degree?
Your disability should not matter to an employer and I really believe it will not. We have people with disabilities working at McLaren. Perhaps if it is something you are concerned about or if its a disability that a team (or McLaren) could help make easier to manage (apologies if my wording is not sensitive) then I would highlight that in your application when you apply for a role.
Mathematics is entirely sensible as a background for a strategist role. I started off in Mathematics (& Statistics) before I moved over to Engineering (I found Mathematics at university to be too abstract for my liking). If you are doing Statistics anything that covers stochastic modelling would be particularly relevant to strategy.
I want to work in F1 in the future and preferably an engineer role. Would studying Mechanical Engineering be the best course to get a chance? Thanks
I would say the majority of F1 engineers have studied Mechanical Engineering but that doesn't necessarily equate to it giving you the best chance of getting in. Engineering skills (and particularly mechanical engineering skills) will make you suitable for a multitude of roles in an F1 team (from strategy, to design engineering, to race engineering and performance analysis), so naturally you would expect more mechanical engineers.
I would have a think about the role that you would like to do and what qualifications would give you the best chance for that role, it could be that its Computer Science instead, or Aerodynamics, or maybe it is Mechanical Engineering. I would also think heavily about how interested you are in said degree - a degree is not a small investment of time, money and effort and its important you do something you enjoy.
the below is a reply to the above
Hey Randy, this answer was not directed at me but I just want to let you know it really just helped me out. I recently dropped out of mechanical engineering because I wasn't enjoying it and made the switch to computer science. It really pained me for a while thinking about giving up the F1 dream because my career choice wasn't ideal for me. So yeah, thanks. While I'm at it I'd like to add a question about computer science in an F1 team, what kind of roles could I take part of with that degree (specificaly at the track, though I see how that's a bit less likely)? Are there masters degrees or specializations more sought after in certain areas? Again, thanks a lot for you time in answering these questions and apologies for the bad english 😅
Hi, no worries and thank you for the appreciation.
Computer Science is a numerate enough degree at most places that you could lend yourself to any role as long as you can pick up the required engineering knowledge as well. Obviously, something in areas like Software Engineering, IT or Vehicle Science/Modelling may be most relevant/easy but there aren't necessarily many trackside opportunities in those areas.
Hello, First of all, thanks for answering all those questions. It's nice for us students dreaming of F1 to have something to look up to. So I am studying mechanical engineering in France and I am really looking forward to become a Motorsport Race engineer, and obviously F1 would be the dream. What I like the lost in that job is the trackside aspect, travelling, living the race. As I imagine, you need some years of experience to become a trackside F1 engineer. So do you think building experience in lower formulas like F2/F3, FE, or prototypes, GT...as performance/data engineer in smaller teams is a good way to line up for a trackside job in F1 ? Or is it recomended to start as an engineer at the lowest level directly in F1 and try to climb the ladder from there ? What is the proportion of your trackside colleagues that come from other motorsport categories ? Thanks !
Great - I look forward to working with you, or competing against you in the future!
That's a tough one. I wouldn't say trackside experience, per se, is very highly desired for trackside roles, but rather a demonstration of the deep technical/operational knowledge, the ability to deal with stress, etc. that makes people successful in those roles.
For this reason, I would say it's better to be in an F1 team and then attempt to try and go trackside, than to be trackside in a 'lower' formula.
The data, from my experience, suggests the same, the vast majority of engineers are in F1 first and then go trackside, rather than being trackside outside of F1 and moving to be trackside in F1.
That is not to say that experience in 'lower' formulae is not immensely useful to securing a job in F1 (just, I believe less preferred than F1 experience).
We have - and not just sports too.
We have met with data scientists from football teams, coaches from the Olympics, rugby teams and professional cyclists - as well as many engineers and drivers from other motorsport series.
We also try and keep learning by working with partners or contacts across the military and commercial fields also.
the below is a reply to the above
Can you expand on the military part?
Only at a high level, I'm afraid - as I wouldn't want to give anything away to others.
One area that I can talk about is that many teams will use military or ex-military experts to coach/train/share ideas with their personnel as there is a lot of overlap (as there is with many commercial fields also). So, for example, the military practice high quality communications on a regular basis, in highly stressful/pressured situations - that's an area where many teams have worked with ex-RAF personnel, for example, to share best practice, to coach and teach personnel and to improve processes.
Hi Randy My question is, if there's for example safety car deployed and the decision whether pit or not have to be made quickly, can the race engineer and the driver make a decision without asking you?
They can but they shouldn't and I can't think of an occasion when they have.
Strategy decisions are made by the strategy team (not necessarily by me) and we have processes in place for making decisions where we have lots of time (normally measured in minutes), down to decisions where we may have 2 or 3 seconds to decide what to do for both cars and execute the communications/actions to do it.
Sometimes we may pre-make the decision and sometimes we have to make it on the fly or override our original intent - the thing about safety cars is that the cause of them can often change your variables/strategy.
Can you speak on how the sport has changed in the past few years in aspect to big data. How has data gathering and manipulation changed the sport? Specifically when it comes to making decisions based on past and current strategies. What kind of software and hardware have made the biggest changes, and how do you see the future of F1 benefit from AI/Big-data? Thanks for any info you may be able to share.
McLaren have always been data-driven, so things haven't changed too much recently. We are finding better ways to analyse the data we have and to draw insights from it. I'm afraid I can't say too much more.
Why is it that you still see signs being held out to the drivers at the pit wall? Surely there can’t be anything said on these signs which can’t be said over the car radio? There’s gonna be a simple answer id imagine. I’ve always thought that it would be hard to try read a sign while travelling at 200 mph?
It happens so rarely nowadays but the radio can fail, so the pitboards are a backup for that. The drivers should always give them a look as they go past (and they rarely do!) in case the radio has failed.
In the current times, where radio is public to other teams they could also be used as a way of passing coded messages, but we do watch them and that doesn't seem to be the case.
Hey Randy! Big fan of your work last season! My question is: Other than focusing on optimising strategy through the various instruments you have for every next race, what portion of your work is dedicated to improving the tools you have to work out strategies, or developing new technologies and methods? Is this something done consistently or over the winter? And lastly, how much does McLaren Applied work with you in using the newer tools in their work? Thanks :)
With how busy the season is, often it is difficult to spend too much time doing development in the season, so big projects are typically tackled over the Winter period between seasons (although this is also getting compressed).
However, we are constantly, both in race weekends and between, developing our analysis techniques, smaller pieces of software, our understanding of competitors' behaviours, etc. so there is a constant ongoing development battle.
We do work with McLaren Applied fairly frequently across the business - we're not currently doing that on strategy projects.
the below question has been split into two, enumerated
Hi, thanks for doing this AMA! I've spent a lot of time reading your answers!I don't know if you'll answer this too but I'll try asking something anyway 1. What are the possible roles that a computer science graduate could cover?
Hi! If you wanted to be very computer science focused, I guess software engineering, IT and some of the compute type roles would be interesting. If you're willing to pick up engineering knowledge then things like Vehicle Science modelling and CFD can open up too.
2. What are the main languages/frameworks used in the F1 enviroment?
3. Are you worried about Daniel coming next year? I mean, probably it will be hard not to laugh for the entire week-end when he's with Lando! Thanks in advance, totally not a computer science student.
Hi Randeep, first of all, thanks for your deep insights into the world of Formula 1 and McLaren. My question to you is, how do McLaren (or any other F1 team for that matter) ensure a stable electrical power supply in the case of a loss of normal power supply (Diesel Generators/UPS/battery banks) at both the factory and less likely to occur but still possible, at the track? Bonus question; how do teams (McLaren) prepare for different types of electrical outlets, voltages and currents all around the world?
To start - I’ll say I’m not an electrician - take the below with a pinch of salt.
Most teams will have generators at the track (actually various kinds - to run stuff on the grid, in the trucks at European events and external ones at fly away races) and some kind of UPS system as well. Power supplies at circuits can be ‘temperamental’ and often there are power outages for specific reasons too.
In terms of for electrical outlets - we as end users just bring our UK stuff and plug it in! There’s an electrician and IT team who ensure that everything is set up and good to go and sneak with different voltage, phase, etc. supplies.
How did it feel to be part of mclaren last year? Like it has been in an incredible year with outstanding results.
I have to say, I have enjoyed every year at McLaren and I started in 2015 when the results weren't outstanding - I am working with really awesome people and even through the bad times it is great to see the team spirit that pervades through everyone.
Last year was incredible and it's good to get an upswing in performance and to see teammates celebrating the thick after making it through the thin!
Who won the bet where Lando had to have ur face as his lock screen till Abu Dhabi last year?
Lando won the bet, but he also clearly has no shame. 😃
Localizing Your Indie Game: Crazy Idea or Growth Hack?
Working at a localization company, every now and then I see indie developers among the clients, so I got to wondering: how do indie devs decide whether to localize their games? Sure enough, localization is a way to expand your player audience, but does localizing indie games always pay for itself? The goal of this article was to let the independent developers speak for themselves and find an honest answer. I reached out to some indie developer acquaintances and received answers from four teams ranging from one to 10-12 people. Two studios produce mobile games, while the third studio and one solo developer make PC games. Meet the heroes of this article: Duck Rockets (Bon Voyage), Alexander Goodwin (Selfloss), Ink Stains Games (Stoneshard) and Mountains (Florence). Mountains — an Australian studio founded by Ken Wong, a leading designer of the popular mobile puzzle game Monument Valley. The studio’s first project was the mobile game Florence, which was released on Google Play and the App Store in 2018 for Valentine’s Day. Then on February 13, 2020, the game was released on Steam and for Nintendo Switch. Florence is an interactive love story, told in comics format in the “daily life” genre with mini-games, and is memorable for its offbeat presentation, cute design, and pleasant soundtrack. The game has received numerous awards for “Best Mobile Game” from The Game Awards, GDC Awards, and BAFTA, and was the 2018 winner of the Apple Design Award. Ink Stains Games — an indie studio based in St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida!). The team’s first project is the PC shooter 12 Is Better Than 6, which was made by three people. The studio’s next game was Stoneshard, a turn-based hard-core RPG about the travels of a medieval mercenary, for which the team had to be expanded to six people. Recently Stoneshard was released on Steam Early Access. Interestingly, in 2018 Ink Stains Games conducted a successful Kickstarter campaign for Stoneshard, collecting over $100 thousand — three times more than the target amount. Duck Rockets — an indie studio from Chelyabinsk, Russia. In 2017 they released the mobile game Bon Voyage and localized it into 8 languages. We talked about this in our interview article. Bon Voyage is a casual three-in-a-row game, available on Android, on the social networks VK, Facebook, and Odnoklassniki, and in the local stores of Iran and Japan. Alexander Goodwin is a fairly unusual developer. He makes a point of doing all his projects alone, from the initial concept to the music and release trailer montage. And yet Alexander is entirely self-taught, and has acquired his skills in modeling, art, music, and engine expertise in the broad expanse of the internet. Under his belt the young solo developer has two mobile games on Google Play, which have gone unnoticed, and three games on Steam: Algotica, Mechanism, and Selfloss (release slated for spring of 2020). Selfloss is a melancholy adventure about a kind old man and his magic staff in a fantasy setting of Old Russia and Iceland. Alexander is passionate about his work, and sometimes goes for days on end developing his games. He is also a postgraduate student and teaches at the Unity and Unreal Engine courses of ITMO University in St. Petersburg. What made you decide to localize your games? Ink Stains Games: Not every gamer speaks English, and having their native language among the supported options is a strong reason for them to buy. If translating a game is an option, it should absolutely be done, as it has a direct effect on sales. Incidentally, the entire text of your page should be localized, including the game expansion plan, the early access text box, and the supporter pack description (if any). We translated our Steam page into the languages for which we have localization. We can’t cite any specific numbers, but we have definitely seen an impact — wishlist conversion and purchases in these regions is markedly above average. With Chinese gamers we had a debacle: we translated the description into Chinese, but forgot about the early access text box and the expansion plan. This made many people think they were buying a finished or nearly finished game (when in fact it was essentially an open beta), and they left lots of negative reviews, not realizing that it was still in early access. Or else they purchased the supporter pack, thinking it was standalone DLC. After we hastily translated these texts, the flow of negative feedback dropped considerably. Alexander: Many developers don’t know (or forget) that Steam only features a game in the countries for which its page has been localized. At least, that’s how it was for a long time. This means that translating a game’s page and the game itself into different languages is the quickest way to make it visible to the largest number of people. Duck Rockets: We decided to translate into languages other than English for one simple reason. The launch of the first non-Russian version was planned for Facebook, but the platform did not allow country-based soft launches or filtering of the countries in which gamers would see the app. So we had to at least cover a basic minimum for our European audience. Who do you turn to for translations, and how do you choose the languages for localization? You can localize through localization studios, freelance translators, or even using fan translations (crowdsourcing). Naturally, the quality of fan translations is rather unpredictable, but for indie games with a solid fan base this is a realistic option (Klei Entertainment is a good example). The crowdsourced translation can later be groomed using an editor and localization testing. Mountains did their translations using a localization studio, Duck Rockets used the online professional translation service Nitro, while Alexander Goodwin and Ink Stains Games employed a combined approach: localization studio, freelance translators, and fan translation. Ink Stains Games: 12 Is Better Than 6 was translated using a major localization studio. For Stoneshard we selected translators on an individual basis — mostly they found us themselves, since they had an interest in the project. Polish localization was done by a fan: we met him halfway and gave him access to all the accompanying documentation, and then we integrated the translation into the game. Alexander: Quite frequently the native speakers themselves help us out. I was once assisted by an ordinary school principal from Peking, who helped translate Algotica into Chinese — free of charge. He emailed me, offering to do so. I also employed the services of a localization studio for Mechanism: they translated it into Chinese and corrected my English and German (a friend provided the German translation).
How do you choose the languages for localization?
The number of languages selected cannot avoid being affected by the amount of text in the game. For example, Stoneshard (Ink Stains Games) currently contains 40,000 words, while Bon Voyage (Duck Rockets) has around 5,000 words, and Florence (Mountains) and the games of Alexander Goodwin contain little text. Algotica, for instance, has fewer than 1,000 words. *Other languages into which Mountains has localized Florence: Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hindi, Indonesian, Malay, Norwegian, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese Ink Stains Games: Stoneshard is currently available in five languages (one of which is Russian, and another of which is a fan translation); our previous game was released in six languages. Stoneshard alone, even in this early stage of development, with no plotline, has over 40,000 words. 12 Is Better Than 6 has nearly three times fewer words — around 15,000. So for Stoneshard we lacked the resources to translate into every language. It’s not simply a matter of money — nearly every localization has to be vetted for quality, and the more languages there are, the longer it takes. The game is complex, with extensive mechanics, so numerous nuances have to be fine-tuned. The translators have many questions regarding the setting and how to correctly translate various concepts. If there are any references we have to explain them as well, so as to adapt them to the language of translation. Alconost comments(some feedback from the localization managers in my company): The challenges described by the Ink Stains Games team are a striking example of the need for glossaries for large-scale projects. These glossaries can contain the game’s primary terms, names, and locations, with explanations of their meanings. Ordinarily our localization team helps compile the project glossary. Also important is the platform used to organize the translation work. Choosing the right platform makes for easy and productive discussion, so that issues are quickly resolved. Incidentally, here are the platforms we work with. Mountains: Just like Monument Valley, Florence doesn't have much language in the game. Based on my experience with Monument Valley, it's relatively cheap to translate the game with so few words. So we did the most popular languages first — English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Japanese, Polish, Portuguese and Russian. This list was recommended to us by our publisher, Annapurna. On a later update we decided to add the extra languages. Duck Rockets: At first we translated Bon Voyage into the primary European languages, betting on their profitability. Japanese and Arabic came up by accident; they were an experiment. We also tried translating the app page into other languages, and since there was interest from Turkey and Italy we localized the entire game into their languages, as well. Which is better: to localize into many languages or to stick to the five most popular? Ink Stains Games: In the future we plan to add localization into Spanish, French, Italian, Korean, and Japanese. Fan localizations may also end up being integrated. We choose languages for localization based on the percentage of Steam users from a given country, and also based on data for various regions for our particular game. https://preview.redd.it/u8eaa75mn7n41.jpg?width=699&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e7176342ebc943e7fdd6ba577ca366c02d141d0a Alexander: If I see a game gaining popularity, I will naturally try to localize it into all the available Steam languages. Duck Rockets: We have plans to expand the list of languages into which Bon Voyage is localized, but this is highly dependent on our audience. If we are seeing 1,000 installs a day from a country, it is definitely worth localizing into that country. If the budget permits, it is worth including as more languages. Because everyone thinks you ought to translate into the most popular languages, which ends up raising competition among games in those languages. Of course, we need paying users from these countries (where popular languages are spoken). The bulk of our profits comes from English- and German-speaking users. But the smaller stores also produce some income, and should not be written off — especially considering that they increase our download numbers and other metrics. Mountains: We would love our game to reach as many people as possible. Like many decisions, we have to balance our desire to reach underserved audiences with the costs.
Localization process and results
Localization is more than putting a game’s text into table format, translating it, then feeding it back into the game. For some languages the game architecture may require serious reworking. Fortunately, many developers already know that it’s best to prepare for localization at the development stage. Ink Stains Games: The need for future localizations is something we gave thought to from day one, when we were planning our game’s infrastructure, so considerable effort was made to optimize the mode of text storage. The entire in-game text was exported in a special text file format, from which the game can then pull it without our having to rebuild or alter it. The translator can freely edit and autonomously insert text into the game without our assistance. This proved convenient for both the developer and the translator. Alconost comments: Working with text in table format is an option, but it is our opinion that for text-heavy projects — such as Stoneshard — it is more convenient to work using localization management platforms, which let you store localized texts, communicate with the translation team, and provide context within the text itself. Our customers prefer to work with us on Crowdin for app localization, and on GitLocalize for GitHub projects. Duck Rockets: For translations into European languages we didn’t have to change a thing. When it came to Japanese we had to spend some time figuring out the display of the characters and the position of text in the game. During localization into Farsi we had to make a serious effort to get the text to display properly from right to left. Here’s a bit of trivia: Farsi has its own symbols for Arabic numbers, meaning that we had to transform all the numbers displayed so as to replace the numbers we’re used to with Persian ones. Mountains: We had to go through the game and identify any artwork that had words in it and prepare those bits of art to be substituted. Did you have to change or redo anything in the game during localization? Ink Stains Games: Yes, every language has its idiosyncrasies. For Russian and German we had to make it possible to indicate word gender and to produce the proper forms of adjectives, so that our generator of names for objects and dungeons would function properly in these languages. Chinese posed a number of problems. In the same dungeon name generator the algorithm had to be changed: adjectives and nouns had to switch places. To do this correctly we had to rewrite the text parser — Chinese, as we know, has no spaces, which we use for text transposition in other languages. We also had to add support for Chinese punctuation for the log, since it has its own punctuation marks. In addition we had to work out the font settings: in the game the text is pixelated, which rendered many of the characters unreadable. Alconost comments: Certain game fonts do not have the symbols for every language. This means that for certain language versions different fonts must be chosen, because without this many symbols will appear like □□□□. How can you check for this ahead of time? The internet has a number of excellent tools for pseudo-localization. These tools imitate the interface in the foreign language, including changing the text length and “checking” the encoding. Essentially, this launches a scenario that imitates the target language and produces a build, which can then be checked as in the testing process. Alexander: No, my games are rated for a fairly young age group, with no skeletons (which are strictly prohibited in China), so I didn’t have to do any “culturalization.” Duck Rockets: We only had one such incident: the game included the Carnival of Brazil, at which the heroine had almost nothing on. The Iranian publisher asked us to put some clothes on her, so we redrew her.
Has localization paid for itself, and what languages have proven the most profitable?
All the studios named Chinese as the most successful and profitable language. Duck Rockets’ game has not been localized into Chinese: for mobile games the situation is somewhat more complex, since without an arrangement with a Chinese publisher it is impossible to launch a game in China. Ink Stain Games: Yes, all our localizations have paid off. Experience has shown that the purchase ratio is higher than usual in countries where the game is accessible in their language. Chinese performed especially well: the percentage of Chinese gamers ended up being on a par with the USA and Eastern Europe. Alexander: Yes, absolutely. The majority of purchases come from the Asian market, especially China. Be sure to localize into Chinese (both simplified and traditional). That is an absolute must. Duck Rockets: Our best-paying countries are the USA and Great Britain. Germany also provides a significant part of our income. We’ve never had a situation where localization failed to at least pay for itself. The game profits cover development, with funds left over to experiment a little with translations into new languages. Of course, we had hoped that if we just translated into this one language we would see our audience increase in that country. But in the realities of the current market that remains a distant dream. What we ended up seeing was a noticeable rise in audience engagement and loyalty, which are also highly important, so localization was worth it regardless. Mountains: Half of the sales for Florence were from China, and more people had played the game in Mandarin than in English. Localisation did meet our expectations. We encountered some feedback from our players where some words would work better than others; but that is to be expected. We made the corrections on future updates. Comment by Alconost: Collecting user feedback on localized versions is an excellent practice. This helps to correct oversights in time — for example, by sending a localized text for proofreading. Or to realize that your current provider is not producing a very high-quality translation. As our customers observe, “When users say nothing about the translation quality in our games, we’re thrilled: it means the translation is just fine.”
Life Hacks and Conclusions
What would you recommend to other developers to make localization more effective (cheaper, faster, etc.)? Can you share any life hacks with us? Ink Stains Games: First and foremost, look for translators who actually like the game itself, and who will find it interesting to work on it. The best translator is one who understands the game and how it works. Alexander: I stick to the rule that games should have as little text as possible, but it all depends on the project. If it’s an adventure game, it’s easy to keep the text to a minimum. Remember “Inside”: no words whatsoever, except for the menu text, and what a hit that was! My games have very little text, which simplifies the task of localization. I don’t deny however that there are genres where extensive, well-written texts are of the utmost importance. If you have an RPG with a ton of text, make your standard language as close to ideal as possible, so as not to overpay for additional translation of new sentences later. If your game is popular, and you’ve already translated into all the primary “gamer languages,” you are likely to get emails from gamers in various countries asking you to add localization for their own less widely spoken language. And if there is a demand, why not? In game development, especially in the indie sphere, it’s not how profitable a decision is that matters, but how it affects your image. I think people often forget about that. Duck Rockets: If you need to quickly translate small texts, especially into 6-7 languages or more at once, the most convenient way is the online service Nitro. You can find publishers for local stores, who usually undertake the localization themselves. That’s how it was with our Japanese and Iranian publishers. Perhaps our best life hack is to localize the app store description and screenshots into other languages as a way to test audience interest. If a person opens the game’s page and sees English description and screenshots, they lose interest, and conversion drops. But when you localize the game’s page, conversion immediately increases. Frequently the smaller markets have few interesting games (and apps in general) in their native language. This means less competition there, making it easier to attract an audience and make some money. We took Bon Voyage to Iranian and Japanese stores. In Japan the result was not particularly impressive, but we did earn something. Iranian gamers, on the other hand, found our game very much to their liking, and they ended up becoming the most enthusiastic players we have. Games vary, and you never know for sure how the audience in a given country will receive your game. You have to experiment. Alconost comments: In any case, a game needs to support EFIGS: English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish. Otherwise gamers are guaranteed to complain. Gamers have come to expect this selection of languages by default. As for other languages and markets, you can experiment with them by translating the description on Google Play and the App Store (without localizing the game itself). This is a good strategy. The Russian-speaking segment currently accounts for a fairly large part of the gaming community: it is the third most widespread language on Steam, and the Russian gaming market has a worth of $1.7 billion. Gamers are constantly demanding Russian translations, and they leave low ratings for games that lack a Russian version. For this reason, in addition to the standard EFIGS languages + Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, we recommend including Russian in your localization. Bottom line: is it worth localizing indie games, and when should you consider it? Ink Stains Games: If you’re able to localize a game, absolutely do so: it’s the most effective means of increasing your game’s overall reach. There’s no point whatsoever in getting on Steam exclusively in one language. A good rule of thumb would be English, Russian, and Chinese. If there are any regional statistics available for your community, take advantage of them. In our case, we went by the statistics for the countries of our Kickstarter backers. This was a fairly good way to approximate the order of precedence for the different languages. Duck Rockets: If the game was created not just as a hobby, but in order to attract a wide audience and as a way to make money doing what you love, it’s worth it. If the game doesn’t have much text, I think it is absolutely worth trying out the local stores. Everyone wants to make it big on Google Play and the App Store, but few consider the potential of the smaller platforms. Alexander: Chinese localization for games is absolutely essential. Add the other languages gradually in order of profitability. Mountains: Just build the game and UI with localisation in mind from the start. The China market is so big that I would never release a game without at least English and Chinese versions. Our games have very little text, which made localisation a relatively cheap and easy process. For games with tens of thousands of words, such as RPGs, it’s a little more complex. But I think even indie developers should build with a localisation system already in place so that they can future proof themselves. It’s far more complicated to add localisation into a game’s architecture at the advanced stages. A big thank-you to the talented indie developers who agreed to chat with us and share their experience! Localize your games, guys — after all, experience has shown that it’s not always expensive, and an additional flow of players never hurts. :) Article by Alconost contributor Margarita Shvetsova
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to navigationJump to searchFor the African country, seeNiger. For other uses, seeNigger (disambiguation)) andN-word (disambiguation)). In the English language, the word nigger is an ethnic slur typically directed at black people, especially African Americans. The word originated in the 18th century as an adaptation of the Spanish negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger, which means black. It was used derogatorily, and by the mid-20th century, particularly in the United States, its usage by anyone other than a black person became unambiguously pejorative, a racist insult. Accordingly, it began to disappear from general popular culture. Its inclusion in classic works of literature has sparked modern controversy. Because the term is considered extremely offensive, it is often referred to by the euphemismthe N-word. However, it remains in use, particularly as the variant nigga, by African Americans among themselves. In dialects of English that have non-rhotic speech, "nigger" and "nigga" are pronounced the same.
Etymology and history
Main article:Negro The variants neger and negar derive from various European languages' words for 'black', including the Spanish and Portuguese word negro (black) and the now-pejorative French nègre. Etymologically, negro, noir, nègre, and nigger ultimately derive from nigrum, the stem of the Latinniger ('black'), pronounced [ˈniɡer], with a trilledr. In every grammatical case, grammatical gender, and grammatical number besides nominative masculine singular, is nigr- followed by a case ending. In its original English-language usage, nigger (then spelled niger) was a word for a dark-skinned individual. The earliest known published use of the term dates from 1574, in a work alluding to "the Nigers of Aethiop, bearing witnes." According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first derogatory usage of the term nigger was recorded two centuries later, in 1775. In the colonial America of 1619, John Rolfe used negars in describing the African slaves shipped to the Virginia colony. Later American English spellings, neger and neggar, prevailed in a northern colony, New York under the Dutch, and in metropolitan Philadelphia's Moravian and Pennsylvania Dutch communities; the African Burial Ground in New York City originally was known by the Dutch name Begraafplaats van de Neger (Cemetery of the Negro); an early occurrence of neger in Rhode Island dates from 1625.LexicographerNoah Webster, whose eponymous dictionary did much to solidify the distinctive spelling of American English, suggested the neger spelling in place of negro in 1806. During the fur trade of the early 1800s to the late 1840s in the Western United States, the word was spelled "niggur," and is often recorded in the literature of the time. George Fredrick Ruxton used it in his "mountain man" lexicon, without pejorative connotation. "Niggur" was evidently similar to the modern use of "dude" or "guy." This passage from Ruxton's Life in the Far West illustrates the word in spoken form—the speaker here referring to himself: "Travler, marm, this niggur's no travler; I ar' a trapper, marm, a mountain-man, wagh!" It was not used as a term exclusively for blacks among mountain men during this period, as Indians, Mexicans, and Frenchmen and Anglos alike could be a "niggur." "The noun slipped back and forth from derogatory to endearing." The term "colored" or "negro" became a respectful alternative. In 1851 the Boston Vigilance Committee, an abolitionist organization, posted warnings to the Colored People of Boston and vicinity. Writing in 1904, journalist Clifton Johnson) documented the "opprobrious" character of the word nigger, emphasizing that it was chosen in the South precisely because it was more offensive than "colored" or "negro." By the turn of the century, "colored" had become sufficiently mainstream that it was chosen as the racial self-identifier for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In 2008 Carla Sims, its communications director, said "the term 'colored' is not derogatory, [the NAACP] chose the word 'colored' because it was the most positive description commonly used [in 1909, when the association was founded]. It's outdated and antiquated but not offensive." Canadian writer Lawrence Hill changed the title of his 2007 novel The Book of Negroes). The name refers to a real historical document, but he felt compelled to find another name for the American market, retitling the US edition Someone Knows My Name. 📷First US edition, with the title changed from Nigger of the Narcissus Nineteenth-century literature features usages of "nigger" without racist connotation. Mark Twain, in the autobiographic book Life on the Mississippi (1883), used the term within quotes, indicating reported speech, but used the term "negro" when writing in his own narrative persona.Joseph Conrad published a novella in Britain with the title The Nigger of the 'Narcissus' (1897), but was advised to release it in the United States as The Children of the Sea, see below. A style guide to British English usage, H. W. Fowler's A Dictionary of Modern English Usage states in the first edition (1926) that applying the word nigger to "others than full or partial negroes" is "felt as an insult by the person described, & betrays in the speaker, if not deliberate insolence, at least a very arrogant inhumanity;" but the second edition (1965) states "N. has been described as 'the term that carries with it all the obloquy and contempt and rejection which whites have inflicted on blacks'." By the late 1960s, the social change brought about by the civil rights movement had legitimized the racial identity word black as mainstream American English usage to denote black-skinned Americans of African ancestry. President Thomas Jefferson had used this word of his slaves in his Notes on the State of Virginia (1785), but "black" had not been widely used until the later 20th century. (See Black Pride, and, in the context of worldwide anti-colonialism initiatives, Negritude.) In the 1980s, the term "African American" was advanced analogously to the terms "German American" and "Irish American," and was adopted by major media outlets. Moreover, as a compound word, African American resembles the vogue wordAfro-American, an early-1970s popular usage. Some black Americans continue to use the word nigger, often spelled as nigga and niggah, without irony, either to neutralize the word's impact or as a sign of solidarity.
Surveys from 2006 showed that the American public widely perceived usage of the term to be wrong or unacceptable, but that nearly half of whites and two-thirds of blacks knew someone personally who referred to blacks by the term. Nearly one-third of whites and two-thirds of blacks said they had personally used the term within the last five years.
📷Historical American cartoon titled "Why the nigger is not fit to vote," by Thomas Nast, arguing the reason Democrats objected to African-Americans having the vote was that, in the 1868 US presidential election, African-Americans voted for the Republican candidates Ulysses S. Grant and Schuyler Colfax. "Seymour friends meet here" in the background is a reference to the Democratic Party candidate: Horatio Seymour. In explaining his refusal to be conscripted to fight the Vietnam War (1965–75), professional boxer Muhammad Ali said, "No Vietcong [Communist Vietnamese] ever called me nigger;" later, his modified answer was the title No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger (1968) of a documentary about the front-line lot of the U.S. Army Black soldier in combat in Vietnam. An Ali biographer reports that, when interviewed by Robert Lipsyte in 1966, the boxer actually said, "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong." On February 28, 2007, the New York City Council symbolically banned the use of the word nigger; however, there is no penalty for using it. This formal resolution also requests excluding from Grammy Award consideration every song whose lyrics contain the word; however, Ron Roecker, vice president of communication for the Recording Academy, doubted it will have any effect on actual nominations. The word can be invoked politically for effect. When Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick came under intense scrutiny for his conduct in 2008, he deviated from an address to the city council, saying, "In the past 30 days, I've been called a nigger more than any time in my entire life." Opponents accused him of "playing the race card" to save his political life.
Main article:Use of nigger in the arts The implied racism of the word nigger has rendered its use taboo. Magazines and newspapers generally do not use the word but instead print censored versions such as "n*gg*r," "n**ger," "n——" or "the N-word;" see below. 📷1885 illustration from Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, captioned "Misto Bradish's nigger" The use of nigger in older literature has become controversial because of the word's modern meaning as a racist insult. One of the most enduring controversies has been the word's use in Mark Twain's novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). Huckleberry Finn was the fifth most challenged book during the 1990s, according to the American Library Association. The novel is written from the point of view, and largely in the language, of an uneducated white boy, who is drifting down the Mississippi River on a raft with an adult escaped slave, Jim. The word "nigger" is used (mostly about Jim) over 200 times. Twain's advocates[who?] note that the novel is composed in then-contemporary vernacular usage, not racist stereotype, because Jim, the black man, is a sympathetic character. In 2011, a new edition published by NewSouth Books replaced the word "nigger" with "slave" and also removed the word "injun." The change was spearheaded by Twain scholar Alan Gribben in the hope of "countering the 'pre-emptive censorship'" that results from the book's being removed from school curricula over language concerns. The changes sparked outrage from critics Elon James, Alexandra Petrie and Chris Meadows. In his 1999 memoir, All Souls, Irish-American Michael Patrick MacDonald describes how many white residents of the Old Colony Housing Project in South Boston used this meaning to degrade the people considered to be of lower status, whether white or black.
Of course, no one considered himself a nigger. It was always something you called someone who could be considered anything less than you. I soon found out there were a few black families living in Old Colony. They'd lived there for years and everyone said that they were okay, that they weren't niggers but just black. It felt good to all of us to not be as bad as the hopeless people in D Street or, God forbid, the ones in Columbia Point, who were both black and niggers. But now I was jealous of the kids in Old Harbor Project down the road, which seemed like a step up from Old Colony ...
In an academic setting
The word's usage in literature has led to it being a point of discussion in university lectures as well. In 2008, Arizona State University English professor Neal A. Lester created what has been called "the first ever college-level class designed to explore the word 'nigger.'" Starting in the following decade, colleges struggled with attempts to teach material about the slur in a sensitive manner. In 2012, a sixth grade Chicago teacher filed a wrongful dismissal lawsuit resulting from an incident in which he repeated the contents of a racially charged note being passed in class. A New Orleans high school also experienced controversy in 2017. Such increased attention prompted Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor, the daughter of Richard Pryor and a professor at Smith College, to give a talk opining that the word was leading to a "social crisis" in higher education. In addition to Smith College, Emory University, Augsburg University, Southern Connecticut State University and Simpson College all suspended professors in 2019 over referring to the word "nigger" by name in an educational context. In two other cases, a professor at Princeton decided to stop teaching a course on hate speech after students protested his utterance of "nigger" and a professor at DePaul had his law course cancelled after 80% of the enrolled students transferred out. Instead of pursuing disciplinary action, a student at the College of the Desert challenged his professor in a viral class presentation which argued that her use of the word in a lecture was not justified.
In the workplace
In 2018, the head of the media company Netflix, Reed Hastings, fired his chief communications officer for using the word twice during internal discussions about sensitive words. In explaining why, Hastings wrote: "[The word's use] in popular media like music and film have created some confusion as to whether or not there is ever a time when the use of the N-word is acceptable. For non-Black people, the word should not be spoken as there is almost no context in which it is appropriate or constructive (even when singing a song or reading a script). There is not a way to neutralize the emotion and history behind the word in any context. The use of the phrase 'N-word' was created as a euphemism, and the norm, with the intention of providing an acceptable replacement and moving people away from using the specific word. When a person violates this norm, it creates resentment, intense frustration, and great offense for many." The following year, screenwriter Walter Mosley turned down a job after his human resources department took issue with him using the word to describe racism that he experienced as a black man. While defending Laurie Sheck, a professor who was cleared of ethical violations for quoting I Am Not Your Negro by James Baldwin, John McWhorter wrote that efforts to condemn racist language by white Americans had undergone mission creep. Similar controversies outside the United States have occurred at The University of Western Ontario in Canada and the Madrid campus of the University of Syracuse.
Intra-group versus intergroup usage
Main article:NiggaSee also:Ingroups and outgroups Black listeners often react to the term differently, depending on whether it is used by white speakers or by black speakers. In the former case, it is regularly understood as insensitive or insulting; in the latter, it may carry notes of in-group disparagement, and is often understood as neutral or affectionate, a possible instance of reappropriation. In the black community, nigger is often rendered as nigga, representing the arhotic pronunciation of the word in African-American English. This usage has been popularized by the rap and hip-hop music cultures and is used as part of an in-group lexicon and speech. It is not necessarily derogatory and is often used to mean homie or friend. Acceptance of intra-group usage of the word nigga is still debated, although it has established a foothold amongst younger generations. The NAACP denounces the use of both "nigga" and "nigger." Mixed-race usage of "nigga" is still considered taboo, particularly if the speaker is white. However, trends indicate that usage of the term in intragroup settings is increasing even amongst white youth, due to the popularity of rap and hip hop culture. According to Arthur K. Spears in Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 2006:
In many African-American neighborhoods, nigga is simply the most common term used to refer to any male, of any race or ethnicity. Increasingly, the term has been applied to any person, male or female. "Where y'all niggas goin?" is said with no self-consciousness or animosity to a group of women, for the routine purpose of obtaining information. The point: Nigga is evaluatively neutral in terms of its inherent meaning; it may express positive, neutral, or negative attitudes;
Kevin Cato, meanwhile, observes:
For instance, a show on Black Entertainment Television, a cable network aimed at a black audience, described the word nigger as a "term of endearment". "In the African American community, the word nigga (not nigger) brings out feelings of pride." (Davis 1). Here the word evokes a sense of community and oneness among black people. Many teens I interviewed felt that the word had no power when used amongst friends, but when used among white people the word took on a completely different meaning. In fact, comedian Alex Thomas on BET stated, "I still better not hear no white boy say that to me ... I hear a white boy say that to me, it means 'White boy, you gonna get your ass beat.'"
There's a certain rhythmic seduction to the word. If you speak in a sentence, and you have to say cat, companion, or friend, as opposed to nigger, then the rhythmic presentation is off. That rhythmic language is a form of historical memory for black people ... When Richard Pryor came back from Africa, and decided to stop using the word onstage, he would sometimes start to slip up, because he was so used to speaking that way. It was the right word at the moment to keep the rhythm together in his sentence making.
2010s: increase in use and controversy
In the 2010s, "nigger" in its various forms saw use with increasing frequency by African Americans amongst themselves or in self-expression, the most common swear word in hip hop music lyrics. Coates suggested that it continues to be unacceptable for non-blacks to utter while singing or rapping along to hip-hop, and that by being so restrained it gives white Americans (specifically) a taste of what it is like to not be entitled to "do anything they please, anywhere." A concern often raised is whether frequent exposure will inevitably lead to a dilution of the extremely negative perception of the word among the majority of non-black Americans who currently consider its use unacceptable and shocking.
Notable usageThe prosecutor [Christopher Darden], his voice trembling, added that the "N-word" was so vile that he would not utter it. "It's the filthiest, dirtiest, nastiest word in the English language." — Kenneth B. Noble, January 14, 1995 The New York Times The euphemismtheN-word became mainstream American English usage during the racially contentious O. J. Simpson murder case in 1995. Key prosecution witness Detective Mark Fuhrman, of the Los Angeles Police Department – who denied using racist language on duty – impeached himself with his prolific use of nigger in tape recordings about his police work. The recordings, by screenplay writer Laura McKinney, were from a 1985 research session wherein the detective assisted her with a screenplay about LAPD policewomen. Fuhrman excused his use of the word saying he used nigger in the context of his "bad cop" persona. Media personnel who reported on Fuhrman's testimony substituted the N-word for nigger.
Niger (Latin for "black") occurs in Latinate scientific nomenclature and is the root word for some homophones of nigger; sellers of niger seed (used as bird feed), sometimes use the spelling Nyjer seed. The classical Latin pronunciation /ˈniɡeɾ/ sounds like the English /ˈnɪɡə, occurring in biologic and anatomic names, such as Hyoscyamus niger (black henbane), and even for animals that are in fact not black, such as Sciurus niger (fox squirrel). Nigra is the Latin feminine form of niger (black), used in biologic and anatomic names such as substantia nigra (black substance). The word niggardly (miserly) is etymologically unrelated to nigger, derived from the Old Norse word nig (stingy) and the Middle English word nigon. In the US, this word has been misinterpreted as related to nigger and taken as offensive. In January 1999, David Howard, a white Washington, D.C., city employee, was compelled to resign after using niggardly—in a financial context—while speaking with black colleagues, who took umbrage. After reviewing the misunderstanding, Mayor Anthony Williams offered to reinstate Howard to his former position. Howard refused reinstatement but took a job elsewhere in the mayor's government.
📷Graffiti in Palestine referring to Arabs as "sand-niggers" The denotations of nigger also comprehend non-black/non-white and other disadvantaged people. Some of these terms are self-chosen, to identify with the oppression and resistance of black Americans; others are ethnic slurs used by outsiders. Jerry Farber's 1967 essay, The Student as Nigger, used the word as a metaphor for what he saw as the role forced on students. Farber had been, at the time, frequently arrested as a civil rights activist while beginning his career as a literature professor. In his 1968 autobiography White Niggers of America: The Precocious Autobiography of a Quebec "Terrorist,"Pierre Vallières, a Front de libération du Québec leader, refers to the oppression of the Québécois people) in North America. In 1969, in the course of being interviewed by the British magazine Nova), artist Yoko Ono said "woman is the nigger of the world;" three years later, her husband, John Lennon, published the song of the same name—about the worldwide phenomenon of discrimination against women—which was socially and politically controversial to US sensibilities. Sand nigger, an ethnic slur against Arabs, and timber nigger and prairie nigger, ethnic slurs against Native Americans, are examples of the racist extension of nigger upon other non-white peoples. In 1978 singer Patti Smith used the word in "Rock N Roll Nigger." In 1979 English singer Elvis Costello used the phrase white nigger in "Oliver's Army," a song describing the experiences of working-class soldiers in the British military forces on the "murder mile" (Belfast during The Troubles), where white nigger was a common British pejorative for Irish Catholics. Later, the producers of the British talent show Stars in Their Eyes forced a contestant to censor one of its lines, changing "all it takes is one itchy trigger – One more widow, one less white nigger" to "one less white figure." Historian Eugene Genovese, noted for bringing a Marxist perspective to the study of power, class, and relations between planters and slaves in the South, uses the word pointedly in The World the Slaveholders Made (1988).
For reasons common to the slave condition all slave classes displayed a lack of industrial initiative and produced the famous Lazy Nigger, who under Russian serfdom and elsewhere was white. Just as not all blacks, even under the most degrading forms of slavery, consented to become niggers, so by no means all or even most of the niggers in history have been black.
Hello! You might know me from my team-by-team analyses in the Day After Debriefs. Well, I’m here on the main feed now with something I wanted to present to you all with my bug for commentary still not sated. So, we find ourselves half-way through what a lot were expecting to be an absolute bore of a season after the first few races. Mercedes looked to have a far superior car to either of their challengers, and it didn’t look like there was going to be much of a challenge to be offered all season. And yet, we look back on the first twelve races (the last four in particular) oddly optimistic for what’s to come. Now what happened there? I’ll explore this and more as I walk my way down through the grid, by order of constructor’s standings, and give my opinions on each team and their drivers’ performances so far in the 2019 season. Mercedes, the big dogs on campus by any description, on an absolute streak of form that’s never really faltered in the formula first established in 2014. The German outfit didn’t just hit the ground running, but sprinting in 2019, having clearly gotten the inside line on how this year’s new simplified aero concept needs to be developed to play nice with this year’s spec of Pirelli tyres. No other team seems to have a grasp on how to get them working like Merc this year. Not only that, but the car has found a groove in technical corners the likes of which it’s never had before, and when you combine these with the well-oiled machine that the strategy team and pit crew are, they’re looking like an unstoppable force in their bid to claim their 6th straight constructor’s title, an absolutely maddening feat in this day and age. Barring complete disaster, I don’t see how their momentum is going to be derailed, and it’s every credit to them. Grade : A+, for being the class of the field as we expect them to be by now. Lewis Hamilton is showing this year precisely why he is a five-time champion, and on course to become six-time. Lightning quick in both race and qualifying situations, seemingly always able to eke out the best of a bad situation, and if his darkest hour of this year can be summed up by a chaotic wet race that had seven retirees (of which he wasn’t even one of them)? You know you’re witnessing something special. He’s got a couple of pretenders to his throne as F1 champion still, but he is going to take some effort to be beaten, as has become the norm with him. The best of his generation, and having no problems displaying why he’ll be regarded as such. Grade : A+, for looking on-course to outstrip the only man who seemed to look insurmountable in the record books Valtteri Bottas seemed to be undergoing something of a renaissance after Australia. Out-qualified Lewis Hamilton in equal machinery (a feat in and of itself), Dominated the race, picking up a victory that was sorely needed after the doldrums he went through for the course of 2018. Struggled some in Bahrain, where the Ferrari was the outright better car, and lost out at T1, Lap 1 in China to never really recover. Something of a return to form in Baku, out-qualifying Lewis(!), but from Spain on, Valtteri’s season can be summed up by asking a simple question: What happened? The simple answer being that Lewis Hamilton happened, with four straight wins that served as something of a ‘back in your box’ to the Finn. Where that killer edge Bottas seemed to have found went, we’ll never know, but I can assure you of this: Valtteri needs to have already found it again come Spa or his championship hopes this year are all but over. There’s a certain Dutchman who’s hot on his heels… Grade : B, for mounting a wicked comeback in form, but letting it falter far too soon. Ferrari have this year shown exactly why you shouldn't put too much stock into what pre-season testing fancies to foretell. “They’ve made a weapon!”, people cried. “This year’s finally the year!” the Tifosi sobbed out with relief. But then, the chips came down and the Scuderia were handed one of their most comprehensive drubbings this side of the formula. On paper, it doesn’t look too bad - they were still consistently scoring Top 6 finishes and podiums. But the problem was that when they were losing out, in the confines of the big three teams, it was happening without so much as a kick of retaliation. The car’s concept has clearly gone down a road not befitting at all to a championship contender, and the team’s operations have been much more miss than hit, with such gems as essentially forgetting Charles Leclerc existed in Canada, and letting the Monegasque drop out in Q1 of his home race. There’s been some shoots of promise in recent races, sure, but not enough to overlook that this year categorically is not their year. Next year, anyone…? Grade : B-, for essentially being the Ferrari that’s been bridesmaid but never the bride for the past six years, with even that much in question this year. Sebastian Vettel has had a tough old time of things since the seeming resurgence of Ferrari in 2017. A car that could and did win races for the first two years, only for it to blow up in his face somehow towards the crucial stages of the season. And now, a car that can only really win a race on its best and luckiest day, and even then, it still hasn’t happened yet. The Seb that seemed to be spiralling out of control (literally) in the back end of last year never quite went away, unfortunately, and a despairing defeat in Canada courtesy of what was a dubious time penalty at the time only seemed to be making it worse. That being said, Seb found a bit of his groove again when he charted a course to redemption at his home race after the misery of last year, and continued that form in Hungary to pick up a podium place that was the best result he and the Scuderia could have hoped for. The championship well out of his grasp at this point, but hopefully he can give Ferrari and the fanbase a bit of hope in the latter half of the season that the team isn’t dead and buried just yet. Grade: B, for having me worried at first, but starting to pull it back. Charles Leclerc has had a whirlwind of an F1 debut - highlight of the midfield in 2018 in a resurgent Alfa Romeo-backed machine, and making the big jump to his dream team after just one solitary year. Has he lived up to the hype? Honestly, no, but he has lived up to realistic expectations for a driver of his calibre. Charles, as he is now, is still very much rough around the edges as an F1 driver, and something we need to remember is that he’s being consistently compared to a four-time F1 champion, and a man with the potential to do just the same, but who has four years in this level of the sport on the Monaco man. Leclerc, in my view, has had the season he’s really needed to have this year. Adversity and challenges to overcome, some flashes of brilliance to show that calling him up was absolutely justified, and a lesson that not everything in his career with the Scuderia is going to be rosy and bright. He’s shown a very level head thus far, and a steady pair of hands on the wheel, so I have a quiet confidence this year will continue to help him build into the championship-level driver pretty much everyone thinks that he can be in the future. Grade : B, for showing just what it’s like to be dragged so rapidly up the food chain, but not sinking among the sharks in the water Red Bull were, of all three top teams, the ones with the most to lose this season. They were entering uncharted waters in terms of having a new engine supplier in Honda, and having to pare back their aerodynamic package when theirs had been the class of the field for quite some time, simply held back by the engine powering it. The general consensus was that if they could be no worse off than they were before, it would be a success. Well, in that case, I would call the maiden season of Red Bull Honda so far a roaring success. A start that had hallmarks of that hope for them that’s evolved and blossomed into a team that, with a driver lineup firing on all cylinders, I have faith would be matching, if not beating Ferrari at this point. Pit stops still the slickest on the grid after those double-stack masterclasses last year, a chassis that’s starting to come into its own beautifully, and a working relationship with the Japanese outfit that’s given them one of the best redemption stories in the sport this side of the decade. With a much-talked-about engine upgrade coming in the beginning of September, this dynamite partnership looks on course to take a fight to Mercedes that could well set up a scrap of the titans in 2020. We all live in hope. Grade : A, for topping everyone’s expectations and bringing back the excitement to the sport we thought was slipping through our fingers. There is no denying that Max Verstappen is in the form of his career right now. To have come away from the first half of the season with two victories against the might of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, as well as a driver who many are lining up to be his foil in future years, Charles Leclerc, is something to be wonderfully proud of. But let’s not forget the rest of his achievements thus far. Finally bagging that first pole position and coming away with podiums in three other races - two of which seemed like madness based on previous form at the circuits. This year, above all his others in F1 to date, has been the one where he has shown why Red Bull put so much faith in him, why this team is being built around him. And he’s not finished yet. There’s still a championship fight on, and even if he can’t topple Lewis, you can bet the Dutch Lion is going to give him the fight of his life for it. Grade : A+, for continuing to be the man who has the entire motorsport world talking What more is there to say about Pierre Gasly’s Red Bull call-up that’s not been trodden to death by others by now? I won’t rag on the guy, because I think the circumstances need to be taken into account. It’s been saddening to see a guy who showed some promise in Toro Rosso’s experimentation season with Honda last year get thrust headlong into the Verstappen camp after only one season. It was confirmed rather early on by the team that Daniel Ricciardo leaving forced their hand, and it honestly has showed rather drastically. There’s been some flashes of what Pierre can do in that car, but he’s floundered rather consistently all season thus far. What lies ahead of the Frenchman is a fight to save his F1 career, frankly. The challenge is very straightforward, on paper: there’s nine races left this season. In these races, Pierre needs to come out swinging and settle into the Red Bull like he’s still yet to do. He’s not cracked completely, nor can he let himself, but there’s no ignoring that there’s a very steep hill to climb in front of him. Grade: C+, for floundering, but managing to keep a smile on his face. McLaren have gone and stumped the field this season. Everyone accepted that their debut season of the new Renault partnership was by no means representative of what the outfit could really do. What people weren’t expecting was to see just how good they were once their chassis had been brought back into working order. Leading the midfield by a country mile into the summer break, and rightfully so, having produced a car that’s fast, consistent, and has helped Carlos Sainz finish no lower than eighth in the past five races, an eleventh in Canada the only blip in that form over the past nine. That’s an outstanding turnaround from 2018, and one the team can clap themselves firmly on the back for. The only direction is up for them from here, and I look forward to seeing what new heights this resurgence can reach. Grade: A, for producing the second-best comeback of the season. Carlos Sainz was given what was essentially a team leader role this year, with big shoes to fill and a weight of expectation on his shoulders for a team trying to make a comeback from disaster last year. Did the Spaniard deliver? Boy, did he ever! His form has already been discussed, so let’s just settle on saying that Carlos Sainz is poised to lead this team back up the grid, possibly to its glory days at the top of the food chain if the 2021 regulations fall their way. He’s reinforced that he is a fast, level-headed, remarkably consistent driver who McLaren scored a coup in acquiring. I wouldn’t be surprised if some crazy race in the second half of the year ends up giving Carlos a third step on the podium, even if that does sound like fantasy-talk. Grade: A, for flourishing when the opportunity to step up was presented to him Meanwhile, his teammate Lando Norris has had an eventful rookie season thus far. The way I’d honestly look at it is that the has all the pace of Carlos (potential or otherwise), just none of the luck. He’s come away with two 6th places but three retirements to Carlos’ one, let’s not forget! Lando is having the rookie season I hoped he’d have, showing off the skill that McLaren saw in him, and having some dire situations thrown at him that he’s tackled with some admirable maturity. If he can continue honing his pace in that car, and hopefully have a bit better luck from September on, I think this will be an F1 debut he can look back at with pride. Grade: B+, for showing just how much potential he has left to realise Toro Rosso’s place in the standings probably feels a bit augmented courtesy of that freak podium in Germany, but there’s an important piece of context to remember. The team is running a car that’s partly an old Red Bull, and is still a development outfit at the end of the day. If anything, it rather signifies what the team have been very good at this year: capitalising on other team’s misfortunes or misjudgements to come away with decent results. With only three exceptions, the team have scored at least a point at every race this season, and snagged two double points hauls to boot. Germany was of course the wonder story, but there’s no denying Red Bull’s plucky little sister hasn’t earned its keep thus far, and has the potential to keep on doing that or better. Grade: B, for continuing the growth with Honda, and offering a proving ground for two drivers who needed it. Daniil Kvyat... What a story this lad’s treated us to, eh? Forced out of the Red Bull senior team one year, forced out of F1 altogether the next, only to come back and put on the performance he has thus far. He’s shown he clearly can still hang with the rest of them, even after a season’s absence. And then, we had that triumphant climax to the redemption arc two weeks ago, managing the wet wonderfully to make it a double Honda podium. Hard to try and predict what the future holds for him, inside this season and beyond, but if he manages to continue this form, I don’t think he’ll struggle at all to find a seat for next year. Grade: B, for pulling off the comeback story in beautiful fashion. Alex Albon has, in a car that’s not exactly setting the grid on fire, managed to pull off a very respectable F1 debut in my view. His fortunes almost seem to mirror Daniil’s. More often than not, when one’s scored, the other hasn’t. But what’s struck me the most about him (as it has about all of this year’s F1 debutants), is just how maturely he’s going about his business - no silly scraps, no truly careless mistakes, just goes out there and does his best race in and race out. Which is key to his development into the stalwart Red Bull surely hope that he can be. Had a great drive in Germany, considering it was his first wet race in an F1 car, but overall there’s been nothing ostensibly bad about the season so far for the Thai driver. Grade : B-, for a calm and collected start to what’s hopefully a successful career in F1. Renault have by no means at all been having the start to 2019 that they wanted. This was ‘laying the roof on the foundations’ time, to paraphrase Cyril Abiteboul, but the foundations have had a tunnel dug under them, and the man with the crane controls needs a pick-me-up. The hope, surely, was that even with McLaren sorting out their aero woes from 2018, the French outfit could finally shake off the embarrassment of being shown up so thoroughly by customer team Red Bull. The reality is not so pleasant, because now it’s Macca doing it instead. Gulfs between this year and last in how well the chassis handles certain tracks, an absolute nightmare in the reliability department at the start of the season, and some baffling strategy calls at times have made this year a step back rather than two forward. It will be very interesting to see if the team can halt their reverse momentum from Spa onwards. Grade : C, for somehow managing to come out worse with Red Bull not under their umbrella anymore. Nico Hulkenberg may as well be a fixture on the wall of the midfield, considering how he’s held station there for what’s been his entire F1 career. It would appear, unfortunately, that that doesn’t look set to change any time soon. Granted, his relationship with Renault has been quite an amicable one ever since moving from Force India in 2017, but it exemplifies his career in the sport, in all reality: a rock-solid driver who’s never really had that extra gear to make the move up. He’s put in some good performances, but hasn’t been able to grind out the points in the same way he’s been able to for the past few years. On fault of car or driver? I’d lean towards the latter former, but it doesn’t inspire much joy either way. Grade: B-, for at least not crumpling under the weight of having our next driver as a teammate Daniel Ricciardo has a question that he’s likely asked himself at least once this season: Where did it all go wrong? There was so much promise when he left Red Bull for pastures new last year, murmurings that Daniel’s transfer might have hallmarks of Lewis Hamilton’s move to Mercedes back in 2013. It would appear, unless the wave he’s about to ride has been slow to gather speed, that this isn’t the case. Regardless, Danny seems to have settled in well to his new team, finally coming to speed with how to get the car primed for divebombs the way he likes them, and coming out with some solid points in a few races thus far. Hopefully, Renault give him a car after the summer break that he can have a bit more fun in than before. Grade: B, for helping Nico salvage what’s not been the best of times for their team. Alfa Romeo, much like Ferrari, had a great deal of hullabaloo behind them going into the new season which also turned out to be at least a little bit of pie in the sky. There was talk of them being ahead of the curve, on the cusp of dominating the midfield this year. When, in reality, their results this year are being propped up by an icicle who I honestly feel is flattering the team and their car to quite some degree. There’s been signs in some places that this could be turning about, but not much of substance that I can see. Grade : C+, for at least giving Kimi a car that he can happily see out his years to retirement in. Speaking of Kimi Raikkonen, he’s shown so far why it should never be forgotten, even closing in on the (relatively) ripe age of 40 that he’s a world champion driver. Kimi hasn’t lost his class one bit, and is dragging that car to places you could easily argue that it has no right to be. Case in point being that he is responsible for all but one of the team’s points so far. Astounding. Kimi’s having a good time, and that makes me happy. Grade : B+ A, because bwoah to you, that’s why. Antonio Giovinazzi, on the other hand, is unfortunately not having the time everyone was hoping he might have in his ‘true’ F1 debut. Something that’s dawned on me, looking back at this is in perspective, is that there are a lot of worrying callbacks to the Alonso/Vandoorne pairing in McLaren of the two years gone, only arguably a bit worse. Elder statesman teammate to be compared to, a car that isn’t really the best on the grid that said teammate is dragging up the field. Except Antonio doesn’t seem to have that inherent racecraft and quali pace being overshadowed by his teammate’s, hence why I say it could well be worse. I hope that Antonio can find or at least start to discover his pace in the second half of the season, because I think the team are going to regret letting go of Marcus Ericsson rather sorely otherwise. Grade: C-, for making me throwback to that sad, sad time Trying to grade the mid-season of The Team Formerly Known As Force India is like trying to judge an art competition based on concept sketches. You know there’s more to come, but you can’t quite see it yet, so you’re left wondering what you can really say. The team had a nice start to the season, picking up a handful of points at every race, with a repeat of usual form at Baku, but then started to flounder backwards until Germany finally announced the end of one of the team’s notorious quirks: the worst case of development lag on the entire grid. Whether their new funding courtesy of the Stroll conglomerate is going to help free that up for next year is anyone’s guess, but for now, there are green shoots, just ones I can’t really assess yet. Grade: B-, for keeping their heads above water while the cavalry of new parts arrived. Sergio Perez has beyond a doubt earned his keep and his seat with the first half of his season, either fighting for points or to get into the points at nearly every race this year. Much like his old Hulk-ish teammate, Sergio’s made the midfield his wheelhouse for his F1 career, and he’s had no small part (even excluding his hand in the takeover last year) in keeping that team afloat, a reputation he’s kept up this year. Hopefully, with the car beneath him from Spa onwards, he can lead a charge for some better results to give the new owners something to smile about. Grade: B, for being the wily little Mexican we all know and love still Lance Stroll has… honestly had the season I thought he might in his new home at Racing Point. His tenure with Williams showed it, even if he was being compared with a much more storied teammate there in the first year - his qualifying is arguably some of the weakest on the grid, and it’s very unfortunate, because his racecraft is great. His starts continue to draw attention, his ability to nail down a place is wonderful (even against a far superior opponent as we saw in Germany and Canada), and he’s actually responsible for more of the team’s current points than Checo. Madness, you’d surely have cried! If there’s some kind of block he has for extracting one-lap pace, I hope he can find it and remove it, because it would make him a driver well worthy of where he sits in far more people’s eyes. Grade: C, for still needing to bump up that average starting position Haas have had a reversal of fortune comparable to McLaren’s fall from grace last year, and it is honestly devastating to see. A complete lack of understanding of why the car has such poor race performance, such an inability to maintain its tyres that is making dozens scratch their head in abject bewilderment at what this flaw in the chassis design could possibly be. There’s been some lucky breaks, but the situation has been slipping fast from their hands, and everyone is hoping that they can reach a solution over the summer. Grade: D, because something has clearly gone very wrong. Romain Grosjean is having the last kind of start to 2019 that he would have wanted. Outscored by his teammate by more than double so far, still falling prey to the sort of silly mistakes that plagued his run last year, and now seeming to scrap with said teammate every other race, giving me flashbacks to the Force India boys from two years ago. I commend Haas for sticking with him and KMag and not just dropping him for the next new talent, but I think it’s fair to say that the time’s come for Romain to consider calling time on F1, for his own sake as much as the team’s. Grade: C-, because the moments of brilliance are getting fewer and further between. Kevin Magnussen continues to be the more consistent of the two Haas drivers, which makes me wonder if giving Romain the Australia-spec chassis was a ploy to keep his confidence boosted. Speculations aside, he’s brought home some valuable points where they’re getting scarcer and scarcer for the American outfit. However, it has to be said that his driving style is very volatile and still earning raised eyebrows on the grid. Why this is noteworthy is that his teammate’s are among them. Kevin needs to get a pep-talk on reigning things in around Romain, because they’re liable to tearing themselves down from the inside. Grade: C, still bringing home some bacon, but not without skinning a few prize calves in the process. And lastly on our journey, we come to Williams, and I won’t mess around too much here. Something is rotten in the state of one of Britain’s oldest racing teams, and it’s hard to tell if it’s being rectified or not. The car seems to be improving, yes, but is it going to improve enough is what remains to be seen, especially with another year under these chassis and aero regulations to get through. We could see this languishing at the back carry on for a while yet if the team aren’t careful. Grade: E, because the crash to the depths does finally seem to be making a turnaround. George Russell is going to be the driver for me that defies his team’s rating categorically because he has proven to be quite the unsung hero this season. Whether his pace relative to his teammate is reflective or not, he has consistently and convincingly been the faster Williams all season, and almost gave the team its first Q2 appearance of the season at Hungary - what a feat. I am very glad that Toto Wolff has expressly ruled out calling George up to Mercedes next year because Williams desperately need him to try and continue their regrowth. Grade: B+, for showing one of the most level and realistic heads on the grid in the face of absolute calamity and nearly making a miracle happen at the Hungaroring. Robert Kubica, on the other hand has had the most upsetting run on the grid this year. Everyone was full of hope for the returning hero this year, confident that yes, he’d struggle, but surely it wouldn’t be for long! Right? Alas, I think we can safely say now that Robert’s attempt at a return was an ill-fated one. He just doesn’t have that magic touch he seemed to have back in the day. He fought his way back, which I commend him highly for, but it just isn’t happening. Grade: F, with a heavy heart. Not even that point in Germany redeems this year, in my eyes.
[OC] Who's in line to make the 2020 Olympic Field?
So with the end of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, we’re entering the slow part of the golf season, which means it’s the perfect time to look at the standings for Olympic Qualifying for the Tokyo Games. Olympic Qualifying ends on June 22nd and will take the Top 60 players in the Official World Golf Standings (OWGR), with each country getting a maximum of two slots, unless they have more than two players in the Top 15, which in case they can send a maximum of four players. These rules are fairly simple to follow if you aren’t following this wordy explanation, you’ll see how it works as I go along. I’ll be going continent-by-continent grading players on the likelihood that they’ll qualify. A “Virtual Lock” means they’re almost guaranteed to make the Olympics. Someone “On The Inside Track” means they will likely make the Olympics if they continue their form of play in the future. A “Bubble Boy” is someone on the edge of qualifying that needs to pick up the pace to ensure their spot or else they're at the mercy of others playing bad, and finally an “outside shot” has a small chance but needs either a watershed victory and/or declines from people above them to make the Olympic Field. North America: Canada: INSIDE TRACK: Adam Hadwin (currently 68th in the world), Corey Conners (71). OUTSIDE SHOT: Mackenzie Hughes (191), Roger Sloan (207), Nick Taylor (255) Anyone in the top 2 for Canada will be comfortably in the Top 60, the only question is who will get it. Hadwin and Conners are the clear favorites with both of them being in the Top 100 in the world, but a PGA tour win from any of the other three could challenge them. Conners went from 196th in the world to 80th with his win in Texas this year, a win of similar caliber could propel one of Hughes, Sloan or Taylor into Olympic Qualifying contention. It’s still very hard and probably won’t happen, but there’s still a chance, which is why I’m including them here. Mexico: VIRTUAL LOCK: Abraham Ancer (37). BUBBLE BOY: Carlos Ortiz (239). OUTSIDE SHOT: Roberto Diaz (398), Jose de Jesus Rodriguez (480). Being a Top 50 player from a weaker golf country like Mexico puts Ancer firmly in the Tokyo Field. At the moment Ortiz would qualify as one of the last players in, but some good finishes on the PGA Tour would help him secure their spot. Both of the outside shots are competing for their Tour Cards in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals right now and will still likely get some PGA Tour starts next year, but will really need to capitalize on them to get to a spot to surpass Ortiz and be among the Top 60 qualifiers. Puerto Rico: OUTSIDE SHOT: Rafael Campos (474). Campos just got his Tour card by finishing in the Top 25 in the Korn Ferry Tour season. He’s one of the longest shots on this list but just one good finish on the PGA Tour could change this and get him to Tokyo. USA: VIRTUAL LOCK: Brooks Koepka (1). INSIDE TRACK: Dustin Johnson (3). BUBBLE BOY: Justin Thomas (5), Patrick Cantlay (7), Tiger Woods (8), Xander Schauffele (9), Bryson Dechambeau (10). OUTSIDE SHOT: Tony Finau (12), Webb Simpson (14), Patrick Reed (16), Gary Woodland (17), Rickie Fowler (19), Matt Kuchar (20). The US is so competitive and the rankings change week-to-week, it’s very hard to predict who the top 4 Americans will be in 6 months. Even still Koepka is the most dominant player in terms of OWGR standings since prime Tiger, with his amazing season this year he’s a sure lock to at the very least be in the top 4 Americans. DJ has dropped his form in recent months (he hasn’t finished better than 20th since the May) but still had a comfortable lead in OWGR over the fourth spot that I feel confident that he will make the Olympic squad. The other two spots are a tossup and a marquee win by the five bubble boys could push them into the field. The outside shots probably need at least two PGA wins in the next 10 months to get them into the Top 4 for the US, which is a tall task. South America: Argentina: VIRTUAL LOCK: Emiliano Grillo (67). BUBBLE BOY: Nelson Ledesma (228) Grillo has been a steady Top 100 player in the world for the past five years, the current best South American player and 2016 Olympian is a lock for 2020. Ledesma will be a PGA Tour rookie and is in the virtual Tokyo field as of right now but will need to sustain his position on the major circuit to stay there. Brazil: OUTSIDE SHOT: Adilson da Silva (359). Brazil’s 2016 Olympian needs to have some good finishes on the African Tour if he wants to return to the Olympic stage. Chile: VIRTUAL LOCK: Joaquin Niemann (83). OUTSIDE SHOT: Huge Leon (498) The young Chilean rallied hard the last two months of the season to comfortably retain his PGA Tour card, and will be a sure thing to make the Olympics. Leon is projected just outside the Top 110 of the European Tour Order of Merit, which is the cutoff point for a full European Tour Card, but a good result or two could secure is card, which would help tremendously to get into the Olympic Field Colombia: ON THE INSIDE TRACK: Juan Sebastian Munoz (193). OUTSIDE SHOT: Nicolas Echavarria (475), Marcelo Rozo (503) Munoz just barely held onto his Tour card by finishing 124th in the FedEx Cup, but still needs to hold steady to ensure his spot in the Olympics. The other two are struggling in the Korn Ferry Tour finals right now and likely won’t get their card unless they have good showings in the next two weeks, it will be an uphill battle for both of them to get inside the Top 250 in the world to try and sneak into the Olympic Field Paraguay: BUBBLE BOY: Fabrizio Zanotti (235). The European Tour vet will keep his card for the foreseeable future, but will need to pick up the pace to return to the Olympic Field. He’s hasn’t had a Top 25 finish since the Maybank Championship in March and only two Top 10 finishes since last February. He’s floating just inside the field for now, but not for long if he doesn’t improve Venezuela: VIRTUAL LOCK: Jhonattan Vegas (113). Jhonny Vegas had a lackluster year for his standards but still remains one of the few consistent Top 100 caliber players from South America and no other Venezuelan comes close to him. He will be in the Olympics. Europe: Austria: VIRTUAL LOCKS: Bernd Wiesberger (41). BUBBLE BOYS: Sepp Straka (184), Matthias Schwab (213). Wiesberger, currently second in the Race to Dubai, has gone from out of the field to lock this summer with two wins. Straka and Schwab will compete on opposite sides of the Atlantic for the second Austrian spot, though if they both underperform Wiesberger could be the only one to make it. Belgium: VIRTUAL LOCK: Thomas Pieters (84). INSIDE TRACK: Thomas Detry (161). OUTSIDE SHOT: Nicolas Colsaerts (343) Pieters has been the best Belgian for years and that likely won’t change soon. Colsaerts represented Belgium in 2016 but has been struggling as of late and has fallen way outside the Olympic field. Detry will likely hold on to that spot unless Colsaerts sees a resurgence. Denmark: VIRTUAL LOCKS: Lucas Bjerregaard (53), Thorbjorn Olesen (64). These two Danes are the only two in the Top 200 in the world, they should be easy locks into the Tokyo field next year. Finland: VIRTUAL LOCKS: Mikko Korhonen (108). BUBBLE BOYS: Kalle Samooja (300), Kim Koivu (315). OUTSIDE SHOT: Tapio Pulkkanen (376) Korhonen, a winner on the European Tour at the China Open, should be in the Tokyo field. Samooja and Koivu, both rookies on the European Tour this year, are currently on the outside looking in but could easily get their way into the field with some good results that would also help them maintain their tour cards. France: BUBBLE BOYS: Benjamin Hebert (97), Mike Lorenzo-Vera (100), Romain Langasque (105). OUTSIDE SHOT: Alexander Levy (171), Victor Perez (174), Antoine Rozner (189). This is one of the juiciest races in the world. Three Frenchmen occupy an eight place gap and only two can make it to Tokyo. All three of them have been having good years, right now placing 13th, 32nd, and 19th, respectively in the Race to Dubai. We could be in for an incredibly tight race, or one or two of these guys could shoot lights out and ease into the Olympics. The outside shots could sneak it in if they get a couple of good results, but overtaking two of the three might be a difficult task. Germany: VIRTUAL LOCK: Martin Kaymer (95). BUBBLE BOYS: Maximillian Kieffer (281), Stephan Jaeger (313). The former No.1 player in the world has fallen off a cliff in recent years but some decent results recently has secured his spot in the Olympic field. Kieffer is the last person in the virtual field as of today and Jaeger is right behind him, both of them need to play better to get Germany off this precarious spot. Of the two I give Kieffer the better chance of making it to Tokyo, he should keep his European Tour card whereas Jaeger lost his PGA Tour card and has missed the cut in both KFT Finals events. Great Britain: VIRTUAL LOCK: Justin Rose (4). INSIDE TRACK: Tommy Fleetwood (13). BUBBLE BOYS: Paul Casey (18). OUTSIDE SHOT: Matthew Fitzpatrick (29), Matt Wallace (30) Ian Poulter (32), Rose is a Top 4 player in the world and will easily be within the Top 15 in the world even if multiple Brits somehow jump him. Fleetwood and Casey will battle it out for second place, but as long as both of them finish in the Top 15 in the world, they could both make it. I feel like Fleetwood is the favorite of the two, so I ranked him slightly higher. The other three need a solid win or two to try and bump themselves into the Top 15 in the world. Ireland: VIRTUAL LOCKS: Rory McIlroy (2), Shane Lowry (21). The current FedEx Cup Champion and Open Champion are clear favorites to represent Ireland in the Olympics, other Irish and Northern Irish golfers will likely need at least three major tour victories to have a shot at surpassing their OWGR totals, which won’t happen. Italy: VIRTUAL LOCK: Francesco Molinari (11). BUBBLE BOYS: Andrea Pavan (76), Guido Migliozzi (110). Molibot has been a lock to be the Italian representative since his Open win last year. Pavan and Migliozzi are the only other Italians inside the Top 300 in the world, the 40 place gap could easily be covered by Migliozzi in the next ten months. Pavan is definitely the favorite but the gap is close enough that I’m labeling them both bubble boys Netherlands: VIRTUAL LOCK: Joost Luiten (90). INSIDE TRACK: Darius van Driel (150). OUTSIDE SHOT: Daan Huizing (363). Similar to Belgium's case, Luiten has been on the top of Dutch golf for years. Van Driel is a solid player that will likely also qualify, unless Huizing has some good results and pushes past him Norway: VIRTUAL LOCKS: Viktor Hovland (112), Kristoffer Ventura (156) Hovland has set the golfing world on fire recently, the PGA got some flack that he didn’t automatically qualify for the Tour this year because he didn’t play enough events despite being stellar in most of them, including a T12 at the US Open as an amatuer. Nonetheless, his T2 last week in Boise in the KFT Finals clinched his Tour card next year. But let’s not forget the other young Norwegian. Kristoffer Ventura was apart of that Oklahoma St. men's team that included Hovland and Matthew Wolff that won the NCAA title in 2018, and Ventura won twice on the Korn Ferry Tour to easily earn his Tour card next year as well. Both should be easy locks from the traditionally meh golfing country. Portugal: BUBBLE BOYS: Ricardo Santos (229), Jose-Filipe Lima (280) Lima was the last person in the field in 2016, but will need an improvement in OWGR standing or some withdrawals to make it in. Santos is just barely in the field as of now, but like most bubble boys could use some high finishes to keep his spot. Santos and Lima are the only Portuguese golfers in the Top 500 of the World Rankings, so there won’t likely be anyone usurping them here. Slovakia: VIRTUAL LOCK: Rory Sabbatini (70). The former South African married a Slovakian and adopted her nationality to have a better shot at making the Olympic team. The 43 year old played excellently this year to all but clinch his spot in Tokyo. No other Slovakians have OWGR points to mention here. Spain: VIRTUAL LOCKS: Jon Rahm (5). BUBBLE BOYS: Rafa Cabrera Bello (42), Sergio Garcia (45). OUTSIDE SHOT: Jorge Campillo (75). Pretty self explanatory, almost like the Italy scenario above. Rahm already has a bunch of points locked up already, he’s all but guaranteed to make the field, leaving Rafa and Sergio to battle it out. Campillo already has one win this year, if Rafa and Sergio don’t play up to expectations Campillo could snatch the second Spanish slot Sweden: VIRTUAL LOCKS: Henrik Stenson (31). INSIDE TRACK: Alex Noren (47). OUTSIDE SHOT: Alexander Bjork (118), Marcus Kinhult (127). The Rio silver medalist is well on his way to return to improve that medal to gold. Noren isn’t too far behind in the OWGR standings, but he’s been among the worst Top 100 players in the world this year and if he continues to be this bad, don’t be surprised if either Bjork or Kinhult get some good results to edge him out. Africa: South Africa: INSIDE TRACK: Louis Oosthuizen (22). BUBBLE BOYS: Justin Harding (52), Erik van Rooyen (62), Branden Grace (77), Dylan Frittelli (94). Oosty has separated himself from the other Africans and will very, very likely claim the first South African slot if he wishes. The other spot is a free for all, Harding and van Rooyen have had great seasons on the European Tour, each with a win and an additional second place finish. Harding has been looking to jump to the PGA Tour, where he is currently in line for a card. Frittelli has had a bit of a down year but did win the John Deere and looks to be trending up for the 2020 PGA season. Lastly, Branden Grace has fallen off from his Top 10 place a couple of years ago but a return to that caliber could also send him to the Olympics. South African is one of the most competitive countries for Olympic qualifying Zimbabwe: INSIDE TRACK: Scott Vincent (173) The only other African country with someone good enough to qualify, Scott Vincent has played fairly well in Asia to carve out a pretty solid spot in the Olympic field. Not really a whole lot to say. Asia China: VIRTUAL LOCK: Haotong Li (50). INSIDE TRACK: Zhang Xinjun (138). OUTSIDE SHOT: Wu Ashun (285) Li has been the best player in China for a while and likely will be the best Chinese player for a long time. The only real competition is Xinjun, who finished second on the Korn Ferry Tour season. While I am tempted to put Xinjun in the “lock” category, he struggled in the 2017 when he had his full PGA Tour card and if he replicates that, he could be caught by Ashun if he isn’t careful. Wu also hasn’t been playing all that well, but if he returns to the World Top 200 form he’s shown for most of the decade, it might be enough to wiggle his way into the Olympics. Chinese Taipei (Taiwan): VIRTUAL LOCK: CT Pan (51) The former World No.1 Amateur won for the first time on the PGA Tour this season to jump into the Top 50 in the world and will likely represent the island nation in the Olympics once again India: BUBBLE BOYS: Gaganjeet Bhullar (217), Shubhankar Sharma (241). OUTSIDE SHOT: Anirban Lahiri (278). A year ago it seemed like India was a lock for two spots in the Olympic field, but now not so much. Since his two European Tour wins last year, Shubhankar Sharma has been downright awful. He’s not in the Top 110 for the Race to Dubai, and right now he’s trying to get his PGA Tour card in the KFT Finals, but has missed the cut badle in both attempts. The other supposed lock, Anirban Lahiri, finished outside the Top 150 on the PGA Tour, but luckily for him he has played well and should get his card back. Gaganjeet Bhullar, who looked like the odd man out, is now the best player in India, though he himself hasn’t had a Top 20 since the Kenya Open back in March. Bhullar and Sharma are technically still in the virtual field but need to play a lot better if they want to get in, and Lahiri needs to keep the abilities he’s flashed recently to get back into the Olympics. Japan: VIRTUAL LOCK: Hideki Matsuyama (26). BUBBLE BOYS: Shugo Imahira (80), Rikuya Hoshino (109), Ryo Ishikawa (122). OUTSIDE SHOT: Satoshi Kodaira (132), Yuta Ikeda (141) The host nation automatically gets one spot no matter what, but Japan won’t need that and will comfortably fit two into the field. Hideki has consistently been the best Japanese player for several years and it’s no different now. The second spot is a free for all. Ishikawa is first in money on the Japan Tour, Hoshino is first in points, and Hoshino is third in both points and money. All of them have been playing great all year in the land of the rising sun, I wouldn’t be surprised if any of them represent their country in the Olympics next year. I’ve put Kodaira and Ikeda in the “outside shot category” because while both of them are moderately close in OWGR, neither of them have been playing all that well as of late. Ikeda has been decent but not good enough to retain his Top 100 spot in the World Rankings, and Kodaira missed the FedEx Cup playoffs entirely this year stateside (his win at the Heritage last year helps him retain full PGA status, which will help). While these guys still have a half-decent shot at making the Olympic team, I’m not too confident in them playing well enough to get there. Anyone else is outside the Top 150 in the world and probably has too many good players to jump to make it into the top 2 for Japan. There’s just so many good golfers from here. Korean Republic (South Korea): BUBBLE BOYS: Byeong Hun An (49), Sungjae Im (55), Si Woo Kim (66), Sung Kang (78). OUTSIDE SHOT: Sanghyun Park (128). South Korea is another extremely competitive country, with basically four players competing for two spots. Sungjae Im lead the Web.com Tour in points last year and followed it up with an appearance in the Tour Championship this year, Im might be the best player of the four right now. Si Woo has been incredibly stable in recent years, consistently being 40-60th in the world, and has the best career win of the four with his Players Championship in 2017. An is another extremely solid player, with his best win coming at the BMW PGA in Europe in 2015. I would bet on those three equally, but I also wouldn’t count on Sung Kang. While he did win the Byron Nelson this year and posted a 7th place finish at Bethpage Black, he’s been in a rut lately and hasn’t finished better than 60th since. If he can find the magic he had in Dallas he could make a big push for one of the two spots. Lastly, Sanghyun Park is a veteran of the Japanese and Korean Tours who finished runner up on the Asian Order of Merit last year. His four Top 10’s this year in Japan and a T16 at the Open has helped him maintain his 125ish world ranking but he’ll likely need a couple wins to make a push for the Olympics. Malaysia: BUBBLE BOY: Gavin Green (209). Green has been around 175-225 in the world for the past couple of years, which might be seen as a disappointment for the young Malaysian, but it’s still good enough to be the best in the country and good enough to consistently have a place in the Olympic field. However, if can’t sustain this pace he could fall out, which is why he’s still on the bubble Philippines: BUBBLE BOYS: Miguel Tabuena (296), Angelo Que (305) These two Filipinos have bounced around between 200-300 all year, but recently they haven’t been able to place on the Asian Tours as well as they were, resulting in both of them slipping down the OWGR rankings. Tabuena did win the Queen’s Cup tournament on the Asian Tour late last year, which probably means he’s the best positioned of the two but they still both need to play better if the Philippines wants to be represented on the course in Tokyo. Thailand: VIRTUAL LOCKS: Jazz Janewattananond (58), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (65). Jazz has led the Japan Tour in money and points for most of the year and was in the second last group at Bethpage this year. Bart Rat has had a down year but still finished T3 at the WGC in Mexico and a T5 at the Byron Nelson. Both of them are still almost 200 spots ahead of the next Thai player and safely in the Olympic field. Oceania Australia: INSIDE TRACK: Adam Scott (15). BUBBLE BOY: Jason Day (23), Marc Leishman (24). OUTSIDE SHOT: Cameron Smith (46). Scott, Day, and Leishman all have potential to be Top 10 players in the world, it’s just a matter of who will be playing the best right before the Olympics. Scott gets the ranking of “inside track” just because he’s several spots above the other two, which is a sizeable gap this high up in the rankings. Of everyone in the “inside track” category, he’d be the least surprising to miss. Cameron Smith is also very talented but we haven’t seen him put it all together on the PGA Tour. I think he’s a step below the other three for sure and the current day rankings reflect that, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see him win a big one and jump the others by next June. New Zealand: VIRTUAL LOCKS: Ryan Fox (103), Danny Lee (133) To finish off, a nice clear cut double lock. Fox and Lee are the only New Zealanders inside the Top 350 and should safely be in the field Summary:
VIRTUAL LOCKS (28): Abraham Ancer, Brooks Koepka, Emiliano Grillo, Joaquin Niemann, Jhonattan Vegas, Bernd Wiesberger, Thomas Pieters, Lucas Bjerregaard, Thorbjorn Olesen, Mikko Korhonen, Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Francesco Molinari, Joost Luiten, Victor Hovland, Kristoffer Ventura, Rory Sabbatini, Jon Rahm, Henrik Stenson, Haotong Li, CT Pan, Hideki Matsuyama, Jazz Janewattananond, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Ryan Fox, Danny Lee
INSIDE TRACKS (12): Adam Hadwin, Corey Conners, Dustin Johnson, Juan Sebastian Munoz, Thomas Detry, Tommy Fleetwood, Darius van Driel, Alex Noren, Louis Oosthuizen, Scott Vincent, Zhang Xinjun, Adam Scott
BUBBLE BOYS (42): Carlos Ortiz, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Tiger Woods, Xander Schauffele, Bryson Dechambeau, Nelson Ledesma, Fabrizio Zanotti, Sepp Straka, Matthias Schwab, Kalle Samooja, Kim Koivu, Benjamin Hebert, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Romain Langasque, Maximilian Kieffer, Stephan Jaeger, Paul Casey, Andrea Pavan, Guido Migliozzi, Ricardo Santos, Jose-Filipe Lima, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Sergio Garcia, Justin Harding, Erik van Rooyen, Branden Grace, Dylan Frittelli, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Shubhankar Sharma, Shugo Imahira, Rikuyo Hoshino, Ryo Ishikawa, Byeong Hun An, Sungjae Im, Si Woo Kim, Sung Kang, Gavin Green, Miguel Tabuena, Angelo Que, Jason Day, Marc Leishman
OUTSIDE TRACK (34): Mackenzie Hughes, Roger Sloan, Nick Taylor, Roberto Diaz, Jose de Jesus Rodriguez, Rafael Campos, Tony Finau, Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed, Gary Woodland, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Adilson da Silva, Hugo Leon, Nicolas Echavarria, Marcelo Rozo, Nicolas Colsaerts, Tapio Pulkakken, Alexander Levy, Victor Perez, Antoine Rozner, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Matt Wallace, Ian Poulter, Daan Huizing, Jorge Campillo, Alexander Bjork, Marcus Kinhult, Wu Ashun, Anirban Lahiri, Satoshi Kodaira, Yuta Ikeda, Sanghyun Park, Cameron Smith
So it looks like I’ve given 40 slots for locks and inside tracks, meaning that the 42 bubble boys look to be fighting for 20 spots, and the outside track people maybe stealing a couple from them. While this may look like an exhaustive list, there is a very real possibility that someone not mentioned at all here steals an Olympic slot, 10 months is still a very long time in the golf world. Still, hopefully this serves as a handy guide for the future.
Britain’s Got Talent 2020 – Betting Update Home » News » Britain’s Got Talent 2020 – Betting Update The 14th series of Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) is promising to be a real classic with some seriously talented (and some seriously wacky) performers taking to the stage each Saturday night. Britains Got Talent Betting Odds. View all available outright and match odds, plus get news, tips, free bets and money-back offers. All you need to bet. Betting on Britain’s Got Talent. The program is very popular in UK as the public can decide the winner. Bet on Britain’s Got Talent is similar to betting on other TV shows, like The Great British Bake Off, X Factor or Love Island. Betting on your favorite performers to win adds an element of excitement. Who can bet on Britain’s Got Talent? Britain’s Got Talent 2020 Betting – Tips & Predictions Singer and NHS nurse Beth Porch (25 years old) is odds on with most bookmakers to win the competition outright. She got a standing ovation from all four judges after her performance, and has written and released a timely song for charity about care workers called You Taught Me What Love Is, which went straight into the official music ... Britain’s Got Talent is a talent competition show. They use a similar, if not identical, format that shows like American Idol, America’s Got Talent, and The X Factor use.. It’s important to understand how the show works. Every stage creates opportunities for different betting markets.
BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT 2020 ALL GOLDEN BUZZERS - YouTube
Full Segment: Britain's Got Talent 2020 Auditions Season 14 #BGT #BritainsGotTalent #BGT2020 #TalentRecapUK For more HD videos, news, analysis and recaps o... Welcome to the OFFICIAL home of Britain's Got Talent on YouTube. Watch your favourite highlights from the current or previous series of Britain's Got Talent,... Top 10 Best Auditions Britain's Got Talent (part 1) 10) OK WorldWide - dancing group 9) Henry - singer 1:18 8) Matt McCreary - parkour 4:17 7) Ella Shaw - Si... #BGT #BritainsGotTalent #TalentRecap For more HD videos, news, analysis and recaps of Britain's Got Talent 2019 – please subscribe & follow Talent Recap UK h... Check out other top 10 videos Got Talent! - America's Got Talent Top 10 Auditions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax9i-Yk19zM - Britain's Got Talent Top 10 ...